Neil Collins and Kristina Bekenova (Nazarbayev University)
At the beginning of her term, HR Federica Mogherini decided to make Twitter and Facebook fundamental tools for EU’s diplomacy and for promoting core European values of democracy, human rights, rule of law, good governance and international cooperation. Currently, 123 EU delegations are involved in virtual communication, dialogue and engagement through different platforms, such as Flickr, Twitter, and, Facebook.
The exercise of measuring how active missions abroad are in engaging with the local audience has not been conducted in Central Asia to date, although this is a region where European countries in particular have identified a need for greater diplomatic engagement. In view of the entry into force of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) between the European Union and Kazakhstan in May 2016, it is timely to evaluate how this ‘strong sign’ of the political investment by all EU Member States and institutions in a strategic partnership with Central Asia is reflected in the use of digital communication made by the European missions.