Friday, May 1, 2009

Embassy Visits as PD?

I was in the Swedish Embassy on Wednesday and saw a flier for this event. Looks like a good event;
It is an open house on Saturday May 9th from 10am-4pm at the EU nation embassies here in DC, they have shuttles to bring people on different routes to visit embassies. Its an opportunity to "look behind the gates."
What do you think? Is it PD? I think so, they are connecting with a foreign public and its a good pull technique. People choose to go into the embassies and perhaps they'll walk out with a more positive view of the nations of the EU.
Any thoughts? and Anyone going to go?


  1. I absolutely agree. Organizing embassy open houses is definitely a public diplomacy initiative. What is so special about this cooperation of European embassies in Washington, DC is, to my mind, the fact that the individual countries decided to create the event in a unified effort. As we touched on in class, a major problem for the European Union at the moment is that the population in the member states is more likely to identify itself by the local nationality rather than as a European. By organizing the open houses, the diversity of the member states can still be showcast while the overall program is associated with the EU.

  2. I agree with both points. The EU Open House event is definitely a public diplomacy initiative, and I would say, one worth continuing. I was able to attend the EU Open House last year, and it was a highly enjoyable event. I believe other members of the public who attended also enjoyed it. The event is well organized, and the embassies seem keen to showcase their country’s cultures in various ways. According to the event’s Web site, more than 50,000 people attended last year, which was up from the previous year. That’s 50,000 members of the American public who are being exposed to the various countries of the EU, and as Leslie stated, might in turn have such an enjoyable experience, that they walk away with a more positive image of those countries and Europe as a whole.

    In addition to the separate EU countries being able to showcase their various cultures, I agree with what Nina said about this event being a tremendous opportunity for the EU to showcase what it truly is: individual and culturally unique countries joining together in cooperation. I believe it’s more beneficial for EU countries to join together for such an initiative because Americans are probably more likely to pay attention to a comprehensive EU event than smaller events by individual EU countries.

    It will be interesting to see how successful the EU Open House event is this year and how events such as this might help create a better image for Europe among the American public.