The EU suffers from a poor reputation amongst populations and activists across its so-called Southern Neighbourhood. This reputation is due, among other things, to a mismatch between how the EU perceives itself and how people and activists perceive its actions and their conse- quences. While the EU believes its policies are rooted in and promote stability, security and democracy, its actions are often perceived to have the opposite effect. To show how and why this is so, this chapter builds on existing analyses of the EU’s self-conception by “triangulating” it both with evidence from interviews with activists and with public opinion polls.
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