The Evolution of EU’s ‘Self – Presentation’: 1992-2016

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-8-2019


Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the ideological discourse in the EU’s self-presentation, which will provide a new standpoint for scholars interested in analyzing the EU’s foreign policy. Design/methodology/approach – To understand how the EU perceives itself, the research investigates the Preamble of the Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht Treaty 1992) and its consolidated versions of 1997, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2016. Investigation of the consolidated versions of the Maastricht treaty is important to understand how the Union came to develop the image of the Self throughout time and how the international context had affected EU’s self-image. The preambles are analyzed using the socio-cognitive approach to critical discourse analysis to examine the ideological discourse of self-presentation. Findings – It can be concluded that the discourse used in the preamble reflects an ideological discourse used by the EU to present itself in positive ways. Such an ideological discourse emphasizes the differentiation between the in-group and out-group identification. Thus, it can suggest some implications that the EU holds a negative portray of the “Other” who do not hold the same characteristics, activities, goals, norms and values. Originality/value – Understanding the possibility of such an ideological discourse can help researchers to adopt a new standpoint to analyze the EU’s foreign policy, which can help in providing new perspective for academic scholarly work.