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Abstract

This article systematically investigates both regional and issue-specific variation in external perceptions of the European Union (EU) as a global power and an international leader. While most studies on EU external perceptions focus on a one-dimensional vision of EU leadership and/or great-powerness, it is argued here that these perceptions are highly issue-specific, multilayered and differentiating. This study draws on data collected through elite interviews in three regions: the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa. The findings make a contribution to the debate on the perception of third states on the international role of the EU.