Presentation on theme: "EU institutions, the media and civil society: Lost in communication ? Asimina Michailidou International Research Network in European Political Communications."— Presentation transcript:
EU institutions, the media and civil society: Lost in communication ? Asimina Michailidou International Research Network in European Political Communications (EurPolCom), University of Bristol, UK
Introduction Project: The impact of EU 'Constitutionalisation' on public claims- making over Europe (ESRC Award Ref. RES-000-23-0886, 2005-2008) Main aim: to map the political demands and expectations which citizens and their representatives mobilise on the European Union, across countries, across time, and within Britain (public claims-making).
EU public communication strategy: Data Sources Official EU documents 1993-2008 Interviews with EU officials 2004-2007 European-level civil society representations: European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions (Michailidou 2007 and 2008) EU institutions: European Commission, European Parliament and EP Secretariat-General, European Council and Council of the EU (Michailidou 2007 and 2008) All working papers available on http://www.eurpolcom.euhttp://www.eurpolcom.eu
The transformation of EU public communication Key commitments: Emphasis on quality information about the EU Strengthening ties with civil society at national/local level Investing in two-way (Internet-mediated) communication EU public communication 2000-2004: An Information strategy for the EU 2004-2007: Going local 2007-to date: Communicating in partnership
Local/Regional publics Government National publics EU communicative channels in the EU public sphere National media EU institutions Civil society Electronic media Two-way direct communication One-way indirect communication Priority/ vulnerable publics: Women, young people Specialised publics: Academics, officials Michailidou, A., 2007, http://www.eurpolcom.eu/exhibits/paper_14.pdf.http://www.eurpolcom.eu/exhibits/paper_14.pdf EU official rhetoric
The insiders view Table adapted from Statham and Firmstone 2006: 15, based on aspects of legitimacy using definitions by Lord (2003) and as discussed by Neuhold and Versluis (2004) with regard to the Constitution. http://www.eurpolcom.eu/exhibits/paper_16.pdf Factors for improving EUs legitimacyRank Average value Quality coverage of the EU in national media13.4 Improving communications between EU organisations and the media22.8 Promoting the benefits of the EU to its citizens32.8 Promote specific EU policies to citizens42.8 Reform the EU budget52.6 Strengthening European level civil society72.5 Improving access to information and documents about the EU on the internet82.5 Strengthening nationally based civil society over Europe92.2 Improving access to decision making for civil society groups132.2 Establishing an EU Constitution181.6 Promoting a European identity among citizens191.5 Establishing an EU wide media201.3 Holding national referenda to ratify treaties/a Constitution210.9 Holding EU wide referenda to ratify treaties/a Constitution220.8
Rethinking democracy in the EU Official rhetoric v. Officials views Communication or democracy deficit? Participation or representation for increased legitimacy?
EU and the public sphere: A conundrum for academics only? Democratisation of information and opinion: Shared ground between political and corporate communications EU public communication strategy: –Good concept, poor execution; –Lacks political support; –Lacks clarity of aim (democratisation or PR?)