Building bridges across the Atlantic: The European Union Visitors Program. A case study for public diplomacy and the transatlantic relationship in the 1970s

Alessandra Bitumi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article addresses the core question of the complex interplay between Atlantic-alliance politics and European integration in the 1970s, a turning point in the European-US relationship. The analysis focuses on the European Community Visitors Program: the first European Community (EC) professional exchange programme seeking to foster mutual understanding between the Community and the United States, which is an intriguing case study in the history of transatlantic relations from a public-diplomacy standpoint. Its relevance is indeed twofold. From an intra-European perspective, it has contributed to laying the foundations for an identity discourse, upon which the narrative of a Euro-exceptionalism has been constructed from the 1970s onwards. Furthermore, as an exchange programme fostering connections among elites abroad, it has enhanced the EC's visibility outside its borders and thus promoted its recognition worldwide. At a systemic level, the ECVP - modelled after the most famous US public-diplomacy programmes - has served as a transatlantic bridge-builder and a prime tool for facilitating alliance management during the cold war, particularly in the troubled 1970s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-942
Number of pages18
JournalInternational History Review
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 1970s crisis
  • European integration
  • transatlantic relations

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Building bridges across the Atlantic: The European Union Visitors Program. A case study for public diplomacy and the transatlantic relationship in the 1970s'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this