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The European Community and the World

A Historical Perspective


Giuliana Laschi

The European Community (EC) has taken on an outward-looking dimension over the years since its first establishment, developing structures and tools which are unprecedented in the history of international relations.
The original signatories of the Treaty of Rome accepted the idea of a «little» Europe only as a first step towards something that would be much bigger and more powerful; ultimately, they wanted to provide the EC with the international power necessary to realize the idea of the common market.
It is not possible to properly define the EC’s actions towards the rest of the world as «foreign policy» in every case and at every stage of its history; nevertheless, the EC has undoubtedly always played a strong and significant international role, even if this role has been expressed in an unconventional way compared to the international system.
This volume on European spaces and borders provides a meeting-point for a number of very different analyses and interpretations, from a variety of disciplinary, chronological and geopolitical perspectives, and in so doing develops a rich and complex debate.
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The Information Policy. How the European Communities presented themselves abroad (1952–1967) (Fabio Casini)

← 62 | 63 →The Information Policy



This essay analyses the Information Policy of the European Communities in third countries in the 1950s and the 1960s: How the Communities presented themselves abroad, what their aims and objectives were, and which countries they addressed.1

The European Communities already developed an information strategy since the establishment of the ECSC.2

← 63 | 64 → The High Authority established the Press and Information Service in 1952, in order to manage the relations with media and to implement a Community-wide information policy. The main aim was publicizing the accomplishments of the ECSC and of the supranational method. Information activities were carried out both in member states and in third countries, especially in the USA and the UK.

The first President of the High Authority, Jean Monnet, considered it especially important to disseminate information about the ECSC’s activities. His American experience had shown him the fundamental role of the media in influencing public opinion and gaining citizen consensus. He entrusted two of his most reliable collaborators with this task, Max Kohnstamm and Jacques René Rabier.

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