Spring Paper 11
« Europe must innovate in its citizen communication! »
The achievements and challenges of communication
Each of the three European institutions seeked to enhance their communication towards their Member States, its citizens, media and a vast number of other stakeholders. They have done so through websites, official statements, interviews, publications, surveys (ie. Eurobarometer ), social media and so on.
Europe is conscious of the necessity to better convey its core values: peace, democracy,
freedom, world leader of humanitarian aid, rule of law .
Nevertheless, the three European institutions must also break out of their conventional roles, unify their respective messages and be capable of conveying EU’s concrete benefits to it’s citizens, especially young EU citizens. Such an improvement in communication would also
enable the EU to strengthen its geopolitical position and its negotiating power with regards to its values and interests.
Shortcomings in terms of citizen communication especially towards young people
The majority of citizens perceive the European Union through « indirect news « in which « Brussels » often faces negative challenges such as migration, Brexit, pandemic, financial crisis, anti-European populism.
The March 2021 Eurobarometer confirms that 92% of european citizens call for their voices to be better taken into account in decisions on the future of Europe .
An analysis of the websites ( disparate ) of the 3 European institutions shows improvements in content but which remains often too legislative and incomprehensible.
Apart from the reputation of the Erasmus + program, Europe would benefit from better communication of the various strengths of its youth strategy ( 2019-2027).
Recommendations for more innovative and citizen communication
The three european institutions must create a common communication platform to raise awareness of their projects in favour of the european citizens.
This communication, simple to understand, varied, playful, current, would be addressed to all citizens and especially young people, both academics and all others.
It is important that such improved communication highlights concrete examples such as:
- Citizens’ initiative projects ( culture , training , Erasmus ) .
- industrial success « Made in Europe « in promising sectors such as environment,
climate, digital, Artificial Intelligence, health, energy, transport, the space industry.
- Citizens’ meetings, conferences or pan european webinars on innovative subjects.
- foreign missions initiated by the Commission , large and small enterprises of which
the main focus is to conquer new markets of the future.
- intensifying thematic visits to the European Parliament and European Council in order
to make their activities in favour of citizens more visible.
The leadership for a more innovative Citizens’ communication should be entrusted to a small multidisciplinary task force from the 3 institutions and directed by the EC Executive . A detailed specification with a call for projects will be sent to a selection of highly experienced communication consultants.