Europe in the World

Social media: following EU public diplomacy and friending MENA

11 July 2011
Megan Kenna (External authors)


In the Arab Spring, social media facilitated action in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, providing a free and accessible tool to organise and coordinate demonstrations. Facebook and Twitter have proved to be resources which help develop civil society, strengthen activism in the public sphere, connect and inform people, transcend borders and impact all demographics.  It is recommended that the EU, through the EEAS, engage citizens both inside the EU and around the globe, through the same medium which enabled protestors to topple autocrats and dictators: social media. Though the EEAS is still developing, a clear social media outreach policy should be developed and implemented in the EU’s public diplomacy strategy. In this Policy Brief, Megan Kenna suggests more frequent updates, direct responses and a more informal tone to ensure that the EEAS is a ‘friend’ to freedom of expression and better ‘follows’ the Arab Spring. 

Social media: following EU public diplomacy and friending MENA

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