European Perceptions on Security and Defence Issues. A Reflection on the European Press

July 2003


This paper aims to draw a general picture of European media perceptions of the security and defence issues in Southern countries, as well as to provide an indication of any links with CFSP, ESDP and the Euro-Mediterranean process.

The objective is to provide quantitative and qualitative information regarding the coverage of such issues by a few selected European newspapers. The purpose of the research is not to conduct an in-depth study of all European Union newspapers, but to provide some insight based on the review of a representative sample.

Last year’s research (see Working Group III report 47) underlined the lack of information on ESDP in the press of Southern Mediterranean countries. The results of the 2002 research are complementary, in the sense that European newspapers, for different reasons, show little interest in reporting on security and defence issues in Southern Mediterranean countries.

In addition to data, content analysis shows that, in relation to the Euro-Mediterranean Process, European media concentrated their attention on economic questions.

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