The past decade has challenged the EU and its international image. The Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the so-called irregular migration crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have all put the EU under severe strain. This article explores if and how the EU’s performance in such crises has impacted upon the external image of the EU. The analysis shows that external images have closely followed the EU’s actual performance, although filtering it through the powerful lenses of local and regional concerns and sensibilities. While some traditional images have proved to be resilient in the longer run (as in the case of the EU as an economic powerhouse or a frequently divided community), others have been severely weakened by the EU’s crisis responses (such as the EU as a bastion of human rights). Our findings contribute to the discussion on the public diplomacy and information strategy of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in shaping locally-resonating positive images of the EU worldwide.