The spring in Brussels is usually heralded by that hardy perennial, a new European Union communications strategy. This year is no exception. The European Parliament has just debated the subject at length, and the new European Commission has promised a new communications initiative within weeks.

This year's communications crop is supposed to be bigger and better, as EU alarm grows over plunging public enthusiasm. The Barroso Commission has made communications a priority, and elevated the redoubtable Margot Wallstrom to the rank of Commission Vice-President in charge. Recent EU summits have also insisted on the need for better communication, and the stakes have now been raised sharply as popular disaffection with the EU menaces the constitutional treaty.

But can a body as diverse as the EU really hope to have a single communications strategy?

It's true that the EU is popularly perceived as a single entity in the world beyond Brussels (to the extent that it is perceived at all), so a communications strategy reflecting a single entity would seem the natural response.

But the political realities of the EU militate against an approach that could simultaneously cover the key institutions the Commission, the Parliament, the Council and the key components, the member states. They all have different roles, different agendas, and different objectives and jealously preserve their prerogatives...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT