The EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership and UN Climate Change Conferences: Media Diplomacy from Durban to Lima

At the United Nations Climate Change Conferences among 2011-2014, both the European Union (EU) and Brazil presented themselves as an example for others, since they consider to be acting beyond their duties to fight global warming. Both are very active as media diplomacy actors, offering a total of 26 press conferences in the case of the EU and 23 offered in the case of Brazil (plus 4 with the BASIC group of countries, composed by Brazil, South Africa, India and China). Both have been trying to build bridges between the most opposing stances, like those of the Umbrella Group (notably the United States) and the G-77 and China (notably India). Besides, they both often take the lead in the negotiations, as evidenced, for example, by the European proposal of a “Durban roadmap” for a treaty by 2015; or by the Brazilian proposal of “concentric circles” to guide mitigation commitments. But, in spite of being strategic partners whose official documents could pave the way for coordinated positions in the global climate change negotiations, no established coordination can be observed.

 In the article “The EU-Brazil strategic partnership and the United Nations Climate Change Conferences: media diplomacy from Durban to Lima”, María Luisa Azpíroz, professor of Geopolitics and International Information at the Panamerican University, analyses the speeches, statements and press briefings delivered by the EU and Brazil at four climate change conferences. With this research, published in Meridiano 47, Journal of Global Studies (Vol.47-No.17-2016), the author continues her work on media diplomacy analysis, which highlights the importance of information and strategic communication actions, mainly carried out by political leaders and diplomats, in order to convincingly convey political messages to the media and public opinion. According to Azpíroz, media diplomacy analysis proves to be a reliable, precise and useful tool to distinguish political stances, nuances and details. This time, the analysis is made resorting to audiovisual material provided by the United Nations in the form of webcasts.

 The EU-Brazil strategic partnership allows for the institutionalization of a regular dialogue regarding bilateral, regional and global issues of common strategic interest. It includes collaboration on fighting climate change, both at the bilateral and regional level (dialogue and cooperation) and coordinating postures in global fora. Therefore, the joint statements of the EU-Brazil summits held after the establishment of the Strategic Partnership, in 2007, highlight climate change as a central topic of the partnership and as a key global challenge. A previous study by Carolina Pavese (2013) that analyzed the period from 1997 to 2009 already stated that the EU and Brazil had not succeeded in projecting their bilateral partnership onto the multilateral arena. This research updates that previous study with a methodological perspective coming from the area of Communication Studies, and contributes to create a base of results from which future researches may depart.

That’s the theme of the article The EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership and UN Climate Change Conferences: Media Diplomacy from Durban to Lima published in the volume 17 of Meridiano 47, Journal of Global Studies.

Read the article

Azpíroz, M. (2016). The EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership and UN Climate Change Conferences: Media Diplomacy from Durban to Lima. Meridiano 47 – Journal of Global Studies, 17. doi:

About the author

María Luisa Azpíroz, Panamerican University, School of Communication, Mexico City (



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