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College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role.

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Presentation on theme: "College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role."— Presentation transcript:

1 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role of information and communication in the governance of the European Union Ian Thomson College of Europe - Natolin 11 September 2010

2 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Key recommendations of European Parliament Resolution adopted on the 7 September 2010 on Communication Role for public service broadcasters and transnational media National governments and political parties should play a greater role in promoting EU Huge potential of social media Need to update school curricula Improve EU institutional communication Click on the image to read the full text or find further information

3 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Public Opinion and Europe: Elections, Referendums and Surveys

4 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Public Opinion and Europe: Elections, Referendums and Surveys

5 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU European Commission says:says EU citizens favour stronger European economic governance 75% of Europeans think that stronger coordination of economic and financial policies among EU Member States would be effective in fighting the economic crisis EurActiv report says:says Europeans losing faith in Europe Just 42% of Europeans say they trust the European Union … down six percentage points in just six months EUObserver report says:says EU popularity plunges right across the bloc People's confidence in the the European Union has dropped to record lows Public Opinion and Europe: Elections, Referendums and Surveys

6 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU With the evidence of low participation rates in the EP elections the referendum results in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Ireland declining support for the EU in Eurobarometer opinion polls Communicating Europe effectively has become an issue of major concern to the EU Institutions a need to professionalise the way information is communicated a need to involve the Member States as well as other actors a need to use new media to get information and messages across However, the question still arises… Will more effective communication make citizens ‘love’ the EU or are the challenges greater or more complex? Public Opinion and Europe: The challenge…

7 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU … warning to all European politicians. We must close the gap between the people and the policymakers. We need to start seeing the citizens as the centre of everything and and the institutions as moving around them, receiving and responding to their messages. …delivering on the key issues of the day: jobs for people - preserving peace in Europe - protecting the environment etc … is also an essential ingredient of ‘connecting’ citizens to political institutions. Communication is the response to the right of the citizens to be informed** Margot Wallström

8 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Frankly I do not believe there are any purely ‘professional’ or ‘technical’ solutions to the problems surrounding EU communications strategy. The fundamental reforms that are essential for any EU communications policy to succeed are essentially political. European citizens need to feel a far greater sense of ‘ownership’ of the European political process. Member States must accept shared responsibility with the EU institutions for both the content of the communications messages and the manner in which they are delivered. John Palmer

9 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Current thinking on EU information and communication policy Interactive communication / Participatory democracy initiatives - Connecting with citizens Making the EU more transparent  European Transparency Initiative  Access to documents The increasing role of new media  The web / Web-streaming / Radio and television / Blogging / Twitter Better, simpler and more accessible legislation Structure of talk

10 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role of information and communication in the governance of the European Union Current thinking on EU information and communication policy

11 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU European Governance: Role of information and communication White Paper on European Governance 2001  Involve citizens and stakeholders – WHY? To gain legitimacy, support and understanding To create better law How to involve citizens and stakeholders - Better information and communication

12 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Action Plan to Improve Communicating Europe, July 2005 Plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate, October 2005 White Paper on a European Communication Policy, January 2006 Communication: Communicating Europe in Partnership, October 2007 Communication Communication: Communicating about Europe via the Internet: Engaging the Citizen, December 2007 Communication Communication: Debate Europe…, April 2008 Communication Action Plan on Communicating Europe through Audio-Visual Media, April 2008 Action Plan Political Declaration: Communicating Europe in Partnership, October 2008 Political Declaration EU information and communication policy: Recent developments

13 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU EU information and communication policy: Key themes Duty of the EU to inform, consult and involve (to listen) Right of the ‘citizen’ and ‘stakeholder’ to be informed, consulted and involved (to know)  Legitimacy / Understanding / Better law Listen better (interactive communication – opinion polls etc) Communicate better (plain simple language – meaningful everyday examples) Go local (adapt EU messages to local and sectoral audiences) Communicate in partnership Cross-border communication channels promoting debate and dialogue on issues of common concern (European Public Sphere / Citizenship Education) Use all forms of media Information needs to be ‘clear, objective, comprehensive, relevant and easy to find’ [OECD: Citizens as partners, 2001]

14 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU See also: The European unions burden. Information and communication to a reluctant people Some recent commentary and evaluation on EU information and communication activities Blog response Blogs on EU information & communication issues

15 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU EU information and communication policy: The situation in 2010… European Commission: change of personnel Goodbye to Margot Wallström & Siim Kallas Welcome to Viviane Reding DG Communication & Publications Office Maroš Šefčovič I-IR & Administration (ETI)

16 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU EU information and communication policy: The situation in 2010… Commission plans communication revolution EURACTIV, EURACTIV Mrs Reding wants to bring about a ‘revolution’ and ‘culture shock’ in communication activities the Commission should be rebranded as the ‘government’ of the EU greater personalisation centred on Mr Barroso More centralisation in the delivery of messages reshuffle of top officials in information & communication activities greater professionalism However, commentators are very critical Communicating Europe: Reding’s revolution Blog: Grahnlaw,

17 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role of information and communication in the governance of the European Union Interactive Communication: Participatory democracy Connecting citizens to Europe: Getting citizens involved and participating – and voting

18 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Interactive Communication: Participatory democracy initiatives

19 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Interactive Communication: Participatory democracy initiatives

20 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Results of the European Citizens Summit, May 2009 Top recommendations 1.Lead on climate change 2.Common healthcare system 3.Common working conditions First dialogue – then decision That's democracy – 21st century democracy! Margot WallstromMargot Wallstrom, May 2009 What can the EU do to shape our economy and social future in a globalised world? I got interested in the EU when the EU got interested in me…

21 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Interactive Communication: Participatory democracy initiatives

22 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Interactive Communication: Participatory democracy initiatives NB: European Citizens’ InitiativeEuropean Citizens’ Initiative

23 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role of information and communication in the governance of the European Union Making the EU more transparent European Transparency Initiative Access to documents

24 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Openness and transparency in the EU Is the EU open and transparent? Transparency is defined as the right of citizens to access information to enable their effective participation - and, in doing so, strengthen the European institutions. Open government is good because it underpins the legitimacy and credibility of democracy as a form of government. Secondly, it can improve the quality of decisions taken.

25 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The EU is open and transparent… O&T in Treaties Decision making: open and democratic EU information policy Press Corps / Lobbying BUT… Challenge of language: multilingual but resource limitations [policy on Europa]multilingualresource limitationspolicy on Europa ‘Culture of Secrecy’ [Committee of Independent Experts, 1999]Committee of Independent Experts Complexity of decision making  Decision making website Decision making website  How open is each EU Institution?  Europe ditches clarity and embraces obfuscation (FT, )FT,  Increasing use of ‘Trilogues’ [ % of decisions were agreed in this way] Openness and transparency in the EU The evidence for and against

26 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Transparency of recipients of EU funds particularly agriculture and structural funds [Beneficiaries of grants] [CAP]agriculturestructural fundsBeneficiaries of grantsCAP  DEFRA: CAP Payments SearchCAP Payments Search  Call to Germany, April 2009 / IP/09/694 Call to GermanyIP/09/694  Financial Transparency System Financial Transparency System Transparency of interests in EU Institutions especially EP and Commission  Commission Communication on professional ethics (SEC (2008)301)SEC (2008)301  European Parliament allowances [EO on EP, July 2008]EO on EP  European Parliament attendance records to be made publicpublic  EO Annual Report 2009: 36% of allegations concerned transparency (April 2010)transparency Transparency in the fight against fraud in the EU budget Transparency of interests of lobbyists  2008: Register of Interest Representatives launched [COM (2008)323]Register of Interest RepresentativesCOM (2008)323 European Transparency Initiative

27 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU 3034 signed up [ ] ETI will stay voluntary Should Think Tanks join? Moves towards a common registerMoves towards a common register / Joint statementJoint statement European Transparency Initiative

28 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU European Agri-Millionaires, 2009 Initial evaluation of implementation of new EU rules on CAP transparency European Transparency Initiative

29 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Why access to documents is considered important: accountability Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, May 2001 Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 Green Paper Review of 1049/2001, April 2007 Green Paper New proposal, April 2008 New proposal  Statewatch Observatory / Current status of proposal Statewatch ObservatoryCurrent status of proposal Registers of documents  Commission – Parliament – Council – Comitology CommissionParliamentCouncilComitology Access to documents

30 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role of information and communication in the governance of the European Union The increasing role for new media The Internet – Web-streaming – Radio – Television Blogs – Twitter – Facebook

31 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Clearly, the media (radio, television, newspapers and other developing media) play a part in the dissemination of information about the EU Communicating Europe through audiovisual media SEC(2008)506SEC(2008)506 The increasing role for new media

32 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU European media initiatives Training and Services for Media Professionals

33 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU TV – Web-streaming for EU information EU sources

34 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU TV – Web-streaming for EU information Non-EU sources

35 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU European Public Sphere Developing a pan-European debate through newspapers, radio and television 1.EUFeedsEUFeeds 2.European non-English language newspapers’ initiativeEuropean non-English language newspapers’ initiative 3.PressEuropPressEurop 1.EuranetEuranet 2.A TV network? Radio – TV – Newspapers for EU information

36 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The increasing role of new media Web 2.0: Blogs EU officials compile blogs on information & communication issues Blogs for EU information

37 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Blogs for EU information Blog Aggregators bring together a selection of Europe focused blogs A sample of blogs offering a range of insights on Europe

38 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Increasing use of social networks

39 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role of information and communication in the governance of the European Union Better, simpler and more accessible legislation

40 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Reduced legislative activity - ‘Better regulation’Better regulation Better quality legislation after consultationconsultation Impact assessments Better quality drafting - Explanatory memorandum Greater use of alternative legislative instruments Consolidation, codification and recasting Simplification Making Community law more accessible  EUR-LEX, PRELEX, OEIL etc EUR-LEX Better, simpler and more accessible legislation

41 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU Political interest has focused attention and resources – which has led to useful specific EU communication initiatives, products and services But… Democratic openness v operational efficiency is a challenge Citizens are still not informed or interested in the EU The role of information and communication in the governance of the European Union Conclusions

42 College of Europe - Natolin Library Information Seminar, 11 September 2010 The role of information & communication in the governance of the EU The role of information and communication in the governance of the European Union Thank you for your attention This handout available on the Natolin intranet © Ian Thomson, September 2010


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