European Seminar, 21 September at 5.00 pm, Talk by Anastasia Remes

The European Union Pavilions in World Expos between 1958 and 2010 by Anastasia Remes, European University Institute

Tuesday, 21 September 2021, 5:00pm on Webex (to register please email : Adelina Stefan at

Abstract: During the last two decades, scholars have increasingly stressed the importance of culture in the history of European integration. Studies have unpacked the European Union’s attempts to sell the European project to audiences in the Member States and abroad, yet little is known about the role exhibitions played in this process. Developing stands and pavilions for regional, national and international exhibitions formed a significant strategy within the European cultural politics complex. My PhD thesis looks at the participation of the EU in the international exhibitions that hold the largest political and symbolic importance: World Expos.

In my thesis, four pavilions are selected as case studies: the European Coal and Steel Community pavilion in Brussels in 1958, the European Communities pavilion in Montreal in 1967, the European Community pavilion in Seville in 1992 and the EU pavilion in Shanghai in 2010. In this presentation, I will discuss how the European pavilions presented the EU at the various World Expos. I will expand on the three research questions that have driven my research: to what extent is the EU presented as a state, how is the EU’s global power constructed and how did the EU transform its message in engaging pavilions and exhibitions?