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Table of contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Six themes, two angles, 700 participants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Opening Session: 13 October 2010, 10:00-12:15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5


Communicating in/on Europe: The challenge of proximity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


Stories from Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Communication and Web 2.0: The impact of social networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Getting people to vote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Regional marketing: Creating a brand strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 16:15-17:30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


Linking public sector communication professionals across Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Sustainability and communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Getting people behind a project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23


Europe going local . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Communicating with the media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Changing behaviour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Closing Session: 14 October 2010, 11:45-12:15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32


Public sector communication in Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Conference conclusions by the organisers and presentation of the EuroPCom platform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  3


Introduction

Six themes, two angles, 700 participants


Seven hundred public sector communication professionals from across Europe gathered in Brussels between 12 and 14 October
2010 for the 1st European Public Communication Conference (EuroPCom) at the European Parliament and the Committee of the
Regions (CoR) to discuss how they can work together to improve public sector communications and raise awareness about EU
policies at local, regional, national and European levels of government.

Organised by the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia and the CoR, the conference focused on six themes:

Making public communications more efficient and professional;

Communicating about Europe at multiple levels of government;

Communicating in ways that encourage public participation;

Sustainability and communication

Relations with the press and the media;

Branding states, regions, cities and municipalities.

Each theme was addressed from two angles:

• Communicating in Europe: exchanging professional expertise in Europe about each theme;


•Communicating on Europe: bringing a European perspective to public communication.

The event's partners were the Belgian Federal Government, the Brussels-Capital Region and the German-speaking Community of
Belgium. The conference was co-organised with the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European
Commission.

More than 90 speakers from local, regional, national and EU level, together with numerous academics and journalists presented and
discussed best practices in communications over the course of ten workshops and opening and closing sessions.

The end of the conference saw the launch of a web-based platform which can be found – together with more information about the
event - at: www.europcom.net.

Presentations and videos from the conference are published at: www.cor.europa.eu/europcom

4 Co m m u n ic at i n g i n E u r o pe – Co m m u n ic at i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010


Opening Session: 13 October 2010, 10:00-12:15

Communicating in/on Europe: The challenge of proximity


The conference participants were welcomed to the European Parliament by Stavros Lambrinidis, Vice-
President of the European Parliament and Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions.
Their opening remarks were followed by a panel debate, moderated by Pierre Lemoine, Editor-in-Chief of
Europolitique, a Brussels weekly newspaper. The panellists were Juana Lahousse-Juarez, Director-General
for Communication at the European Parliament, Christine Roger, Director of Media and Communication at
the Council of the European Union, Claus Sørensen, Director-General for Communication at the European
Commission, Agnieszka Kudlinska, Director of the European Information Department at the Polish
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aurora Masip i Treig, Director-General for Communication of the Government
of Catalonia from Spain and Almuth Westecker-Hecker, Director of Communication for the City of
Frankfurt/Main from Germany.

“As institutions, we have to find common about Europe. In his opinion, the public would be more interested
grounds in order to communicate not with in EU affairs if these diverse points of view were represented in the
100 different voices but if possible on a communication process. He noted that the European Parliament
number of major topics that go through had adopted an updated communication strategy last July that
us all” would be followed by an Action Plan 2011-2014.
Stavros Lambrinidis,
Vice-President of the European Parliament
We have to imagine communication to
In his welcome address, Stavros Lambridinis focused on
focus on the 'brand Europe' in a way that
communication between the EU institutions and the citizens
involves our regions and cities."
from the perspective of a Member of the European Parliament.
Recalling that the declaration ‘Communicating Europe in Mercedes Bresso,
Partnership’ was signed by the European Parliament, the Council President of the Committee of the Regions
of the EU and the European Commission two years ago, he
emphasized the need to convey consistent and coherent Mercedes Bresso stressed the Committee of Regions'
messages to citizens. Telling citizens that their votes mattered strong support for the EuroPcom network of communication
was as important as developing good and effective policies. He professionals in Europe. She explained that the main aim of
described the main motto for public communications in Europe public communications should be to address the scepticism and
as ‘United in Diversity’, which meant communicating not only in ignorance of citizens about how the EU functioned and to make
terms of unified messages, but also highlighting the diversity of them understand what the EU actually gave them. Noting that
opinions in the EU. He emphasised that diversity was the EU's the Lisbon Treaty had introduced a new political architecture with
asset and that all citizens had their own individual points of view the emergence of a number of new actors and a redistribution of

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  5


Opening Session: 13 October 2010, 10:00-12:15

powers, she highlighted the need to develop a new architecture "One of the obstacles in front of
for communicating about Europe. She emphasised that the key communicating Europe in Member States is
to creating a more accessible, familiar and concrete ‘brand of the tendency of local and national politicians
Europe’ was to adopt a multifaceted and multilevel approach to to focus on local and national issues".
communication through cooperation between the European
institutions, Member States, regions and the cities. She noted Aurora Masip i Treig,
Director-General for Communication, Government of
that communication should not be restricted to Brussels and that Catalonia, Spain
one of the EU's most important objectives should be ‘going local’
in public communication. She described the mayors, regional Aurora Masip i Treig talked about her region's experiences
presidents and elected persons in the regions as people who with trying to extend its network linking the Catalan
effectively acted as ‘spokespersons’ for the EU in their contacts government to Europe. She said that one of the main obstacles
with the public. to communicating about Europe in the Member States was
the tendency of local and national politicians to focus on local
and national aspects. However, she signalled a change in this
approach saying that more and more politicians were now
focusing on how they could establish better links with Europe.
She felt it was necessary to explain how Europe was helping to
defend the rights and interests of EU citizens.
Pierre Lemoine,
Editor-in-Chief of Europolitique

Pierre Lemoine opened the panel debate with the following


major questions: How could we create a new communications
strategy and architecture for the European institutions? How Agnieszka Kudlinska,
could we make communications work based on a multifaceted Director of the European Information Department at
approach? How could we ‘go local’ and work on a decentralized the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
form of communication?
Agnieszka Kudlinska provided an overview of the European
"The most important challenge is to communication activities carried out by the 17 regional offices in
communicate Europe in terms of its Poland ahead of the forthcoming Polish EU Presidency. She said
effects on ordinary citizens and their that the main communication concept of the Polish Presidency
everyday life." was based on the idea of ‘Europe vis à vis the citizens’. Noting
that around 80% of Polish citizens had voted in favour of EU
Almuth Westecker-Hecker,
membership in the accession referendum, she said that they
Director of Communication, Communication
Department, City of Frankfurt/Main, Germany did not need to promote the EU in Poland, but rather that they
needed to tell people what the EU meant for its citizens. She
Almuth Westecker-Hecker presented the local authorities' added that they had organized over 100 meetings with NGOs and
perspective on communication with the citizens, as well as the local media to explain what the Polish Presidency would focus
with other cities and regions. In her view, the most important on. She emphasized the importance of NGO participation in the
challenge was to communicate Europe by focusing on its effect debate on EU policies.
on ordinary people and their everyday lives. She said that to
bring citizens and Europe closer together, local authorities could
promote the European aspect of their projects and measures.
She emphasised the fact that there was very limited financial
support for public communications in general but that new
methods of communication such as social networks and online
communications could provide comparatively good value
communication solutions that were capable of reaching out to
larger groups of people to exchange opinions.

6 Co m m u n ic at i n g i n E u r o pe – Co m m u n ic at i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010


Opening Session: 13 October 2010, 10:00-12:15

"First of all, we have to stop annoying


citizens with all kinds of political
initiatives every single day".

Juana Lahousse-Juarez, Claus Sørensen,


Director-General for Communication at the European Director-General for Communication, European
Parliament Commission

Juana Lahousse-Juarez discussed the reasons why citizens Claus Sørensen stated that the days when people believed that
could feel distanced from EU matters and highlighted the everything could be done from Brussels were long over and that
importance of adopting a local and regional approach to it was now all about ‘going local’. He argued that every issue at
communication. She said that the different political structures European level had a local impact and that, as a result, the main
and national politics in the 27 Member States created a challenge involved establishing a link between Brussels and
challenge for integrated public communications in Europe, but national governments, local stakeholders, regions and cities. He
that it was possible to turn this challenge into an opportunity confirmed that the communications budget was indeed tight, and
by introducing a bottom-up approach to communication. She that it was unlikely to increase given the current economic crisis. In
considered that on issues where Europe was unable to provide his opinion, the main aim of communication on Europe should be
supranational answers, it was the dialogue between the regions to avoid duplication and a lack of coordination.
and communities that should provide the answer. In her view,
one very important aspect of the European Parliament's recent The subsequent debate with the audience addressed a
communication activities was the MEPs personal and direct number of questions about the need for a clearer picture
engagement and communication with the public through their regarding how the communications budget was spent, the
blogs and twitter. importance of achieving a jargon-free, multilingual form of
communication in order to be closer to the citizens, the need to
use communications not only for certain milestone events but
also as part of an on-going, permanent process and the need for
the EU to help journalists gain a better understanding of Europe.

In their conclusions, the panellists and the moderator


Christine Roger,
Director of Media and Communication at the highlighted the following points:
Council of the European Union
 We were moving towards a communication society, this
Christine Roger focused on the challenge of expressing the should be a two-way form of communication with the
diversity of voices from the 27 Member States, which was an citizens.
essential element of the EU's democratic environment. She  Europe should work at the closest possible level to the
explained the EU Council’s efforts to establish a common citizens to encourage them to participate in the debate.
working group of communication directors and spokespersons  There was a need to tell people how the EU related to their
from the 27 Member States to overcome this communication everyday lives, so that we could involve citizens more and
challenge. She said they often received criticism about more in future projects.
communication in Europe, mostly based on discontent, but   The problem of communication was a medium-long term
she felt that there had been some progress in recent years, issue, not just one that was addressed a couple of months
particularly after the ‘Communicating Europe in Partnership’ before a referendum or elections.
document. Noting that the structure of the EU Council had been   Cooperation was vital, not only among institutions in
transformed by the Lisbon Treaty, she predicted more future Brussels, but also cooperation with local and regional
developments in its communication policy and activities. institutions. We should focus once again on the citizen. We
should use direct communication tools.
 The EuroPcom community would be useful for everyone.
Everybody hoped that it would grow and continue.

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  7


Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45

Stories from Europe


Moderated by Laurent Thieule, Director of Communication at the Committee of the Regions, the first workshop
included contributions from the following speakers: Jean Lemaître, Director of the Institute for Higher
Communication Studies (IHECS) in Brussels, Joëlle Deglin, Communications Officer of the Public Service of
Wallonia, Belgium, Ruska Boyadzhieva, Director of the EU Integration Department in the Municipality of Burgas,
Bulgaria, Raphaël Goulet, Head of Unit for Communication at DG Regional Policy at the European Commission,
Sixtine Bouygues, Acting Director at DG Communication at the European Commission, and Zvonimir Frka-
Petešić, Head of Press & Public Diplomacy at the Mission of Croatia to the EU. Two experts were also present at
the session: Professor Gianpietro Mazzoleni of the Department of Social and Political Studies at the University
of Milan, Italy, and Peter Fjerring, Head of European Affairs of the Danish Association of Local Governments,
Denmark

Laurent Thieule opened the workshop by business with the help of EU funding. This magazine was a
reflecting on the possible added value of genuine, hands-on learning project for the students, and an
communication on Europe, especially for informative source of information for its target group. However,
its citizens. It was important to enrich the the question of how to include the general public in the
institutional debate with local voices, and to European debate still remained something of a challenge. Mr.
bring public sector communications closer Lemaître stressed the importance of providing more and higher
to the daily lives of people and to introduce it quality information on Europe across all media, in all levels of
into their everyday discussions. Mr Thieule then invited the first communication, including at local level.
three speakers to take the floor, to be followed by a first set of
comments from the experts. Joëlle Deglin presented the Walloon
approach to communicating on Europe.
Jean Lemaître explained how the IHECS It consisted of three communication
School had integrated the European campaigns: Europe works, which presented
message into its curriculum. IHECS Masters' EU-funded projects; the Open Doors Day,
students had carried out a communication which gave access to co-funded museums
project on how to talk about Europe in and tourist sites; and, lastly, a campaign to
a deprived neighbourhood of Brussels. establish contacts with businesses and the public to inform
The publication presented a number of them about Europe. A mix of written press, radio adverts and
examples of ongoing, EU-funded regeneration work in the information brochures had proven to be very effective: the
neighbourhood and included articles on topics relating to the results of this campaign were then measured, and showed
everyday lives of local people, such as how to set up a small that people clearly had a better understanding of why the EU

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Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45 - Stories from Europe

was important for Wallonia as a result of the campaign. Ms. Sixtine Bouygues presented the
Deglin concluded by presenting the Walloon projects during communications campaign on the 112
the Belgian EU Presidency, including an exhibition on the European emergency number. It was
construction of Europe, competitions and activities such as specially targeted at young people and
walking tours to discover co-funded buildings. travellers, in 5 languages, based on the
results of a target group study. The campaign
Ruska Boyadzhieva stressed the used Internet websites and videos as its
importance of communication on European main forms of media. At the launch of the campaign, only 25%
values and policies. In Bulgaria, only 40% of EU citizens knew about "112"; since then, the website had
of the population identified themselves as attracted a very high number of new visitors, and the project
European citizens. Hence, it was important was ongoing. Mrs Bouygues emphasized the importance of
to interpret European policies at local taking into account the multicultural environment, and focusing
and regional level and to bring the EU on specific target groups, in order to pass on the message
institutions and European programs closer to the people. effectively.
Ms Boyadzhieva gave a presentation on a local event which
had been organised during the OPEN DAYS and which had Zvonimir Frka-Petešić noted that the Croatian population was
brought together institutions, NGOs and businesses to discuss only mildly interested in European affairs. The financial crisis,
common challenges in a European context in order to create a the EU-scepticism of the rural population and the passivity
platform for debate among stakeholders. In her final remarks, of the young were major challenges for communicating the
Ms Boyadzhieva encouraged communication through concrete European message effectively. However, the EU Info Points and
projects, which could be supported by awards, short videos or the media, which numbered eight permanent correspondents
other communication tools. on European affairs, worked together with the Croatian
government to inform the public about European issues. The
The moderator invited Peter Fjerring, in the role of expert, to main objective was to inform the entire population, by providing
comment on the first set of presentations. Mr Fjerring emphasised non-partial information, and to mobilize the Croatians for the
that, in order to convey the message effectively, it was important referendum on EU-membership. To achieve this, actions such as
to take into account the needs of the given target group and to exhibitions, conferences, study trips and events like "the Europe
remember that emotions and feelings in communication were of Week" had been organised across the country.
key importance. For example, it was not possible to communicate
about Europe in the same way in the old and in the new Member Gianpetro Mazzoleni, in his comments on the second
States. One means of communication was not enough. It was set of presentations, emphasised the need to ‘connect the
important to reflect on how people could identify themselves disconnected’, by sharing good practices such as the RegioStars
with the European project. Awards. It was also important to find ways of measuring the
effectiveness of a communications campaign, even if such
Raphaël Goulet began by stating that even evaluations were often unreliable and expensive. Mr Mazzoleni
if regional policy was a major EU policy regretted that access to TV networks for EU communications
field responsible for numerous impressive remained limited due to the expense involved; television
investments affecting the quality of peoples' remained a powerful form of media, especially for reaching out
lives, only one third of the EU's population to the public at large.
was actually aware of its existence. The
communication plans of the Managing The short debate with the audience broadened the discussions
Authorities of European funds were therefore considered to to touch on the need for interactivity in policy making. Knowing
be particularly important. It was vital to communicate with how to tell a story – and to whom – was vital today, if we
reference to specific projects, by highlighting major projects and wanted to share our message. If we put our different stories
to use inaugurations, information billboards, events and awards of Europe together, we could start communicating a genuine
such as the RegioStars as communication tools. Furthermore, European identity.
DG Regio had launched a number of networks such as INFORM
and Regionetwork2020, for sharing experiences and facilitating
two-way communications.

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  9


Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45
Communication and Web 2.0: The impact of social networking

Communication and Web 2.0: The impact of social


networking
Niels Thogersen, communications advisor and Honorary Vice-President of the Club of Venice, was the
moderator of the second workshop, which saw contributions from the following speakers: Stan Magniart
of Publicis Consultants from Paris, Stephen Clark, Head of the Web Communications Unit at the Directorate
General for Communication at the European Parliament, Roberto Franchini, Director of Communication
for the Emilia-Romagna Region in Italy, John J. O’Flaherty, Manager at Citizenscape from Donegal, Ireland,
and Radovan Geist, Editor-in-Chief of EurActiv.sk from Slovakia. The experts in the workshop were Bridgette
Wessels, Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, and Geert Lovink, Founding
Director of the Institute of Network Cultures, The Netherlands.

Stan Magniart gave a presentation on a citizen initiative launched and stressed the importance of being integrated into online
by Greenpeace, which had required the collection of one million communities and of being where people were.
signatures across Europe. The real objective in this case had been
to get people interested in a European issue. The European Citizen Roberto Franchini presented his project
Initiative (ECI) not only allowed citizens to participate in setting the with Web 2.0, namely the presence of the
political agenda. It was more than just a tool for decision-making. Emilia-Romagna region on social networks.
The ECI also represented a tool for reaching stakeholders and for In his view, the main reasons for being part
connecting with the citizens. He also mentioned the example of of the online communities were to increase
the British Parliament, which was in the process of implementing its the information. which the public institutions
ePetition (petition on-line) system. This type of system made it easier provided via the internet, to disseminate
to pass on information from the Parliament to the public. This was information about activities and proposals put forward by the
much more than just an e-mail inbox. region's administration, and to attract new target groups and
citizens. The Italian challenge was to go from a social network to
Stephen Clark presented the various tools a community and also to be present on the mobile internet.
(social networks) that were used by the
European Parliament. The most used was Bridgette Wessels stressed that there was a difference
facebook. For example, Jerzy Buzek, President between a social network and a community. The key question
of the European Parliament, had received was how could we make people feel part of a community? She
some 151 comments and replied 30 times emphasised that communication needed to be personalised,
within the space of just 45 minutes. Mr. public opinion should be collected systematically and
Clark gave details of the European Parliament's online strategy dialogue should be encouraged between communities. The

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Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45
Communication and Web 2.0: The impact of social networking

internet was a worldwide concept. She also reflected on the form of communication. Fourthly, the decentralisation of
place of Europe, which was somewhere between "local" and communication channels could give the EU an increasingly
"worldwide". It was a question of identifying which strategies greater presence in local debates. And finally, the existence
made it possible reach citizens at a European level. The other of blogs and other direct communication tools did not
aspect, which she highlighted, was the issue of trust. Did the necessarily mean that they were effective. Even if the message
public trust social networks and communities? If there was no got distorted, 'translators' or 'interpreters' of the messages
trust, there was no way we could talk about communities. That were vital to the process.
could not work.
Geert Lovink stressed that if the EU wanted
John J O’Flaherty introduced his project to be an actor in Web 2.0, the EU institutions
Citizenscape (a town council on-line), had to provide up-to-date information using
which aimed to tackle the democratic tools such as open access, open data, etc.
deficit. The service integrated both on- The power of the internet derived from its
line (official website, social networking capacity for immediate communication. The
spaces) and off-line communication tools. internet was a central platform and people
One of the main lessons learned from this were used to this. There were tendencies to break up this
project was that when co-producing content with the target open platform into walled gardens using software technology.
audience, moderators were unable to fully control or moderate However, this software also enabled a more personalised
the content. A second point was that democracy required form of communication, which meant it was possible to bring
accountability, meaning that citizens needed to identify communication 'closer to people'. This was an evolving process
themselves, even in online environments. Building these and thought should be given to what this meant for public
communities took time (and needed planning). To ensure user communications.
knowledge of Web 2.0, it was necessary to use complementary
tools for off-line awareness and training support.

Radovan Geist focused on practices, which


the EU institutions should refrain from on
Web 2.0. In his presentation entitled ‘EU
communication: 5 stupid things you should
not do especially when flirting with Web
2.0’, he highlighted that the main objective
of the EU institutions' presence on social
networks should not focus on its image, but be all about being
transparent and open to debate. Secondly, communication
should not be confused with marketing. The EU was not a
washing powder, but a political project, he argued. Thirdly,
the message should not be unified. Local multipliers could
do a better job spreading the message than any centralised

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  11


Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45 - Getting people to vote

Getting people to vote


This workshop was moderated by Martin Territt, Head of the European Commission Representation in Dublin,
Ireland. The speakers were Marc Jorna, Head of Unit, Directorate General for Communication at the European
Commission, Deirdre Farrell, Press Officer at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Ireland to the EU,
Susanne Oberhauser, Director of Relations with Citizens at the European Parliament, Heidi Zikulnig, Director of
the EuropeDirect Network in Styria, Austria, Alicja Defratyka, Project Manager at the Civil Development Forum
Foundation – FOR in Poland, Jo Steyaert, Founder and Managing Partner of Indigov, Belgium and Professor
Mark Franklin from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Marc Jorna stressed that, during Deirdre Farrell gave an assessment of the
elections such as those for the European increase in voter participation in Ireland
Parliament in 2009, political parties and iduring the two referendums on the
the candidates needed to take up the Lisbon Treaty. The Treaty was rejected in
challenge to motivate the public to vote. the first referendum, only to be approved
Their campaigns needed to inform the in the second. The key factor in her view
public about crucial events and to generate was the importance of raising awareness
public interest in the work of the European Parliament. It in order to change the attitudes of voters. She stated that
was in 2009 that the European Commission first decided to campaigning had convinced people to vote or change their
help raise awareness about the European elections through opinion and that the turnout of 53 percent had risen to 59
a collective effort. The campaign included over 1,000 events percent. Along with socio-economic and circumstantial
in Europe including conferences, school visits, a campaign reasons, voluntary abstention had also been a factor due to
with MTV Music Television, spots on Euronews television and a lack of information provided in the first referendum. Also,
on the European radio network, TV and cinema clips, and many citizens had decided not to vote in the first referendum
e-mails to people telling them to pass the message on to their due to a lack of interest. The situation changed during the
constituents. Even though Mr. Jorna concluded that it had course of the second referendum, however, as key issues were
not actually been proven that the European Commission's addressed, official information improved all of which meant
campaign had been directly responsible for increasing voter that the citizens felt more informed. She concluded that is
participation, the awareness raising campaign by political was worth addressing the concerns that people had had, and
parties and their adjusted programs had had an impact that that there had clearly been an increase in voters' knowledge
was remembered, and the collective effort involved had as the communications material was comprehensible and
shown that it was worth continuing. had assumed a lower level of knowledge among the target
audience. There was also greater use of new media in the
second campaign and greater involvement of civil society and
celebrities.

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Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45 - Getting people to vote

Susanne Oberhauser gave an overview Alicja Defratyka gave an assessment of a social


of the European Parliament's initiative campaign/competition, which had been organised
launched in 2009 to get people involved in in Poland, and was entitled ‘The navel of Europe’,
the elections to the European Parliament which encouraged people to take part in the
and to raise awareness about them. One European elections. The turnout rate increased by
challenge was that EU parties needed to almost 4%, from 20.87% in 2004 to 24.53% in 2009. The campaign
gain influence over national parties in the was supported by 300 organisations and a budget of 140,000 euros
Member States if they were to be capable of creating real and was spent on manufacturing gadgets such as stickers, badges,
tangible policies, which concerned all Europeans. A collective posters and maintaining the website. The event attracted interest
effort, cooperation among institutions, the regionalisation of from the media while the value of the media campaign using the
activities, as well as improved communication would increase metro, trams, cinema and TV for publicity, which was free of charge,
participation, attract voters and demonstrate that the EU was estimated to amount to around one million euros.
could have a positive impact on people's everyday lives. She
concluded that people had to identify with the EU and to Jo Steyaert introduced i-vote as a way of
gain first hand experience of its activities if they were to go connecting with people by making them think
out and vote. The European Parliament therefore used an about the elections and by asking them to answer
interactive website, forum, and media workshops with this in 20 questions on key issues. The creation of a social
mind. In addition, the visitor centre would soon provide an network made it possible to carry out a detailed
informational meeting point for the 500,000 people expected comparison of the answers given by members of political parties,
to visit each year. politicians, celebrities, and other voters. Overall, the results were
positive as the outcomes led to a discussion on the internet, based
Heildi Zikulnig introduced the campaign on the results of the multimedia campaign.
‘We are Europe’ (Wir sind Europa) and
‘Europe is not a monster’ (Europa ist kein Mark Franklin felt it was an achievement that
Monster) that had been developed to voter turnout had increased slightly in EU elections
increase enthusiasm about Europe. As and that a sharp decrease had been averted. He
young people were able to vote at the mentioned the importance of communicating
age of 16, 200 partners, 50 initiatives and with the citizens as the European elections
public bodies had got involved in some 80 events to stimulate appeared to be something of an unattractive product to sell. The
interest among young people and to encourage them to reasons why people voted needed to be addressed; equally, it was
participate in the EP elections. EU experts informed students necessary to make the elections more engaging as some people
about EU projects and the initiative had continued to run only went to the polls out of habit, because of family loyalties, or as
after the 2009 election. A number of challenges had arisen, a means of showing their support for a particular party. Therefore,
however, as the regional governments and mayors were there was a need for research on European elections and on
reluctant to get involved in EU issues. In conclusion, she noted methods of communicating these elections to the general public.
that the interest in European issues was growing slowly but A campaign had to be specific if it was to successfully sell the idea; it
steadily, which showed that their efforts had borne fruit needed to appeal to the EU population and to address their issues
and concerns. He concluded that there was a substantial need to
direct and encourage more efforts by politicians towards the public.

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  13


Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45 - Regional marketing: Creating a brand strategy

Regional marketing: Creating a brand strategy


Moderated by Mark Watts, Director of Luther Pendragon's Brussels Office, this workshop included contributions
from the following speakers: Hans Dominicus, Director for Marketing & Development at the Amsterdam
Tourism and Convention Board, The Netherlands, Sophie Louet, Communication and Marketing Director of
ADERLY, Lyon, France, Jean Dagré, Founder and Director of Agence Dagré Communication, Strasbourg, France
and Jean-Christophe Gallien, Consultant at JCGA, Paris, France.
Mark Watts opened the debate by Sophie Louet shared her experiences
presenting the speakers, who had all of launching the brand of Lyon, which
succeeded in translating the identity of their was the first city in France to begin
region into a strong brand. He noted that regional marketing in 2008. She described
promoting Europe's regions was a growing the process of bringing together the
aspect of public sector communication metropolitan area's main economic
at local level. Mr. Watts introduced the players and institutions in order to create
main subject of the discussion – 'With an increasing territorial a joint regional marketing policy. Through their activities,
competitiveness, how can a brand give a city or a region they promoted Lyon's economy, and the idea was that they
national or even international status?', and asked the speakers could spread the word about the region throughout France
to take the floor. and around the world. These actions resulted in the creation
of a network of over 5,000 ambassadors who were recruited
Jean-Christophe Gallien decided to make from among the region's leading organisations and who
a non-speaking presentation – instead, he identified numerous opportunities for the metropolitan area
played a video showing examples of cities (establishing businesses, attracting investment or organising
across the EU that had accomplished the projects). Ms. Louet stressed the importance of maintaining
task of converting the basic identity of a strong relations with the press. In spite of a small budget,
region into a brand. All the cities presented about 100 journalists were invited each year by the City of
had managed to successfully address the Lyon to cover topics as diverse as the economy, culture, major
challenge of promoting themselves as marketing products projects and gastronomy. In her final remarks, she emphasized
on the world stage. Mr. Gallien explained that the regions that getting both private and public partners involved was
he had selected had been very successful in increasing their crucial for regional marketing and had a determining influence
awareness both in their own country and around the globe. In on its success.
his comments, he stressed the fact that success stories should
be better highlighted to speed up projects all over Europe. Mr.
Gallien reminded everybody about the multiple benefits linked
to regional marketing: generating wealth and bringing in new
activities, talents and, crucially, investment that boosted the
local economy.

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Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 14:30-15:45 - Regional marketing: Creating a brand strategy

Hans Dominicus presented the steps, In their responses, the moderator and the panellists agreed
which had been taken to build the strong that:
international brand of Amsterdam, one of
the world's top ten tourism destinations.  Regional marketing required working in a trans-national
He argued that it was crucial to set up an context: communication with an international scope
informal discussion platform including both should be a priority; however, the subsequent involvement
ordinary citizens and politicians. He added of the local population was crucial for its long-term
that although money was an important factor in determining success. One positive 'side-effect' of regional marketing
the feasibility of projects, so were pro-active politicians. He was that it improved the image that inhabitants had of
named trust, consensus and commitment as key elements for themselves and made them proud of their city.
the creation of competitive brands. Mr. Dominicus described  Translating a region into a strong brand also represented
the marketing strategy of '17 reasons why you should go to an economic project: a brand was created for business
Amsterdam' and stressed the importance of tourism, claiming purposes to bring prosperity to the region and to attract
that a tourist was the best ambassador for a city in terms of investment.
communication, since he talked more about his trip than a  While attracting tourism should not be the main purpose
businessman and was therefore capable of ensuring its long- of regional marketing, all speakers noted that it remained
term promotion. a major area of future employment in Europe, as it was
one of the few branches of the economy that could not
Jean Dagré gave a presentation on the simply be transferred to a country with lower labour costs.
emergence of the Upper-Rhine Valley as Therefore, brand creation should include campaigns
a new tourist destination, which grouped focusing exclusively on presenting a region as a great
together four regions from three different tourism destination.
countries: France, Germany and Switzerland.  The cross-promotion of various cities within a region was
He noted that creating a tourist destination considered to be a bad idea. The panellists noted that
involved building a strong brand around promoting a 'quadruple' of cities was very difficult, as
the region in question. He emphasized the importance of joint having too many brands in one project inevitably led to
projects at trans-national level, which linked the regions with confusion. The key to successful regional marketing was to
one another and helped give them a strong identity. Mr. Dagré build a strong and coherent brand.
noted that the involvement of citizens was crucial and that  The link between politics and marketing should not be
they greatly contributed to the creation of a brand; however, ignored. Using elected representatives and the mayors was
they needed to have 'ownership' of the project. He concluded very important, as their involvement in the city branding
by stating that the main goal of regional marketing was to process increased the credibility and prestige of the
make sure that a brand was strong enough to survive without project. The speakers noted that while it was possible to
EU funding. develop a brand without political support, political vision
The presentations were followed by a debate with the was always essential.
audience and the subjects highlighted included: getting the
local population involved in brand creation, the economic
dimension of regional marketing and the link between
marketing and politics.

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  15


Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 16:15-17:30

Linking public sector communication professionals


across Europe
The workshop was chaired by Professor Stefano Rolando, University of Milan, and President of the Club of
Venice, and involved the following panellists: Karl Musschoot, Director of Communication, Flemish Government,
Belgium; Jacques Moisse, Director of Communication, Public Service of Wallonia, Belgium; Dr Lieve Fransen,
Director, Directorate-General for Communication, European Commission; Angel Losada, Association of
Communication Directors, Spain; Pierre Zémor, President of the European Federation of Public Communication
Associations (feacp); and Ian Ratcliff, Vice Chairman, Local Government Communications, United Kingdom.
Dominique Mégard, Manager at Cap’Com, Lyon, France, commented as expert to the debate.

The debate highlighted the need Karl Musschoot presented the situation
for networking among public sector as regards public sector communication in
communication professionals across Europe Flanders including its embeddednes into
because they share common values and the public administration stipulating the
face similar challenges. Using a survey on the manner in which communication issues are
profile of public sector communicators in executed by specialised official at all levels of
Europe presented by Dominique Mégard, government.
discussions focused on how to get a European network up
and running. As regards key qualifications and attitudes of Jacques Moisse insisted on the fact that
communication directors, Ms. Mégard underlined the need for a public sector communication is operating in
strategic view, connectivity, political sensitiveness, awareness of a permanently changing environment and
the local situation, and communication expertise and efficiency. hence, remained a subject and profession to
be still further developed.
Pierre Zémor elaborated on common
challenges for public sector communication,
namely to avoid disconnecting public policy
and action from communication, to avoid
too much proximity with politicians, to focus
on consumers needs, and to not compete
with media.

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Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 16:15-17:30 -
Linking public sector communication professionals across Europe

In his contribution Angel Losada In their conclusions, the panellists highlighted


emphasised that communication should be
cross-cutting activity involving all officials  the need to continue cooperation and networking at
in public administrations. The latter should European level;
take care of the necessary procedures  the necessity to better involve actors of civil society
and trainings including on internal organisations;
communication. In thsi context, the work of  the potential of public sector communication to initiate and
communication consultants should be clearly defined. complement societal change.

Ian Ratcliff confronted reactive


communication with one linked to public
decision-making and suggested a strategic
and forward-looking approach to all public
sector communication.

Dr Lieve Fransen elaborated on how


much the last years had changed the
communication made by EU institutions
namely as regards reaching out to the
citizens and connecting Europe to the local
level. The latter remains an issue to be tackled
for the years to come.As regards the latter
aspect, the European Commission should continue to play an
important role through its networks and tools.

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  17


Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 16:15-17:30 - Sustainability and communication

Sustainability and communication


Moderated by Roser Domenech, Deputy Head of Unit at the Directorate General for Communication at the
European Commission, the workshop featured presentations from the following speakers: Diana Verde Nieto,
Founder of Clownfish, London, United Kingdom, Dr. Britta Kastens, Head of Communications, European Green
Capital 2011, City of Hamburg, Germany, and Pedro Ballesteros Torres, Principal Administrator, Covenant of
Mayors, DG Energy, European Commission.
Roser Domenech opened the workshop by convergence had on public communications and noted that
highlighting the importance of sustainability the mobile phone was steadily taking over the internet's role
and credibility for a brand. Ms. Domenech in the converging world. The reach of social networking and
noted that sustainability covered many blogging was growing at twice the rate of other mainstream
elements; sustainable development was a forms of internet use such as portals, e-mail and search
key issue in this world and an EU priority; engines. This had to be taken into account by governments
communications therefore, should set and public institutions which should make sensible use of
an example in terms of both their form social media as a tool for connecting with the citizens and
and their content. Ms. Domenech invited the speakers to spreading their message. Ms. Verde finished by noting that
share their knowledge on how public sector communication social and web networks were the future of communication.
campaigns had tackled the issue of sustainability. Reactivity was the main weapon, which both companies
and public institutions needed to learn to use. Their very
Diana Verde Nieto began her presentation reputation would be increasingly dependent on them.
by pointing out that, as far as sustainable
communication was concerned, quality Dr Britta Kastens presented the
of life was a priority, which meant that we communication campaign promoting
had to look at it very closely. In a changing Hamburg as the European Green Capital
world, it was sustainability and not income 2011. Combining industrial tradition and a
that was a core value; moreover, GNP modern metropolitan atmosphere with the
monitoring was being replaced by measuring how happy completion of a number of specific green
and productive the nation was. Ms. Verde stated that people projects had helped achieve a number of
tended to choose brands, which resonated with their own ambitious environmental and development goals for the city.
values; we therefore needed to make a shift towards purpose These efforts had resulted in boosting Hamburg's potential
driven marketing. She noted that while communication was as a role model and communicator and had launched a
about 'everything', marketing was about engagement: instead dialogue with the citizens regarding the future of their city.
of selling, we should think about enabling and empowering Dr Kastens noted that as over 80% of Europeans lived in
people; instead of campaigning, we should rather seek to cities, they had a huge impact on maintaining a sustainable
move them. Ms. Verde recalled the tremendous impact, which society. It was the cities that had the greatest potential to

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Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 16:15-17:30 - Sustainability and communication

solve Europe's challenges in the area of environmental and The following debate addressed the issue of the social
climate protection. Asked how Hamburg planned to maintain media as the ultimate tool of dialogue with the public.
sustainable communication, Dr Kastens listed the modern Ms. Domenech stated that the new communication methods
and interactive exhibitions travelling through 18 European were a huge challenge for sustainability and credibility and
cities, the process of disseminating European experiences and invited both the audience and the speakers to share their
best practices and the use of an approach which targeted the knowledge and ideas.
public at large as crucial elements of the strategy. She stressed
that consulting citizens on their expectations and visions of The panellists agreed on the following points:
the city as well as providing them with accurate information
created involvement and set up a platform for sustainable  Sustainability and credibility were key to successful
communication. communication; they should be embedded in every
aspect of the dialogue with the public, consistency was
Pedro Ballesteros Torres based his more vital than ever before. There was a high risk of being
presentation on the success story of the accused of ‘greenwashing’ as the public could easily check
Covenant of Mayors, an alliance created any information.
to communicate solutions in the area of  Events-based communication was not always sustainable;
climate change. The Covenant of Mayors it should only represent a small part of a broader strategy,
had set up a Sustainable Energy Action Plan aimed at promotion and increased visibility.
scheme and implemented it in order to go  We needed to focus on the projects that could be
beyond the EU's 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020. Mr. replicated and that had a European dimension; it was
Ballesteros emphasized how crucial it was to involve citizens utility, not perfect management, which counted.
through a bottom-up, holistic approach in order to ensure  The social media were the key to communication but
the sustainability of the project. He stressed that although the one should be aware of their drawbacks, primarily the
Covenant of Mayors was providing the initiative with European lack of control over internet sources. Therefore, to achieve
visibility, it was nonetheless a non-profit organisation since the sustainable communication, regulations needed to be
alliance's member cities needed to spend a lot of money and adapted.
effort on drafting public action plans, which were subject to  Moderation and sensibility were of crucial importance.
scrutiny and implementation. He noted that the Covenant of Projects that had an adverse impact on people's lives
Mayors provided support to local and regional authorities and would never achieve the objective of sustainability.
encouraged grass roots movements among the population.
Mr Ballesteros pointed to shared efforts, ideas and products
regarding the quality of life in the broadest sense as being
the main facilitators of sustainable communication. In his final
remarks he expressed satisfaction at the alliance's huge public
impact, something which had been achieved thanks to a long-
term vision, the creation of a strong sense of identity among
participants and by empowering them to engage in change.

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  19


Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 16:15-17:30 - Getting people behind a project

Getting people behind a project


This workshop was moderated by Christian de La Guéronnière, Director of IDcommunes from Paris, France,
and the expert was Elke Löffler, Chief Executive of Governance International from Birmingham, United
Kingdom. The speakers were Peter Lindvald-Nielsen, Head of Communication, European Economic and Social
Committee, Sophie Beernaerts, Head of Unit, Citizens' Policy, DG Communication at the European Commission,
Bjorn Kjellstrom, Head of the Information Office of the European Parliament in Stockholm, Sweden, Catherine
van Eeckhaute, Deputy Director of Gov2u, Fernando Monar, Director General for Services Quality, Government
of the Balearic Islands, Spain, Lieve De Brabandere, Communications Advisor to the Flemish Government,
Belgium and Tamás Szalay, Cultural Director at the Pécs 2010 Management Centre, Pécs, Hungary.

Christian de La Guéronnière opened the Lieve De Brabandere introduced the


debate by highlighting the importance of ‘Flanders in Action Pact 2020’, a participative
continuously increasing citizen involvement approach aimed at helping develop
in projects, local consultations and Flanders economically and to make it a
public participation. He explained that sustainable community. The guidelines
communication was a key concept for and tools for the project were developed
implementing and achieving vital objectives at consultative meetings and roundtables
as it urged the public to participate, bringing together both target groups and stakeholders as the
informed them about what was going on, and aimed to campaign aimed to raise awareness and encourage individual
encourage people to discuss problems, as well as to educate citizens to share their opinions. It was a mobilisation campaign
and explain various issues to the general public. However, the using the general public as representatives and ambassadors
fact that local communication in general did not yet cover a for the project while at the same time trying to reach out to
large number of citizens represented something of a challenge a wider audience based on classic and new media including
in his opinion. radio broadcasting, mailing and online activities such as
facebook, twitter and other networks. The goal was to create
Elke Löffler presented the ‘Arnstein a broad and sweeping plan to spread awareness and involve
Ladder of Participation’ indicating different young people in particular through interactivity.
levels of citizen partcipation and invited
the audience to identify, which category Tamás Szalay presented the ‘European
they felt they fell under according to the Capital of Culture’ project and introduced
scheme. This was then used as a basis for the City of Pécs, Hungary, which had
the following debate. held this title in 2010. It represented a
development opportunity for the city
and its region and information points
had been set up to ensure that the whole

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Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 16:15-17:30 - Getting people behind a project

country was involved. He underlined that Pécs could be seen Sophie Beernaerts introduced the
as a borderless city which was home to several minorities. communications aspects of the ‘Europe for
Therefore, the city's cultural melting pot needed to be shown Citizens’ programme, which has a budget
and made visible in Europe using the two year budget of of 215 million euros between 2007 and
6 million euros. He particularly stressed the fact that the 2013. The main aims of the programme
project was not only a festival and cultural activity but also were result-based awareness raising, getting
an opportunity for developing citizen participation from all people together to reflect and debate
sections of society. He emphasised that there had been a lot on Europe, creating visibility on Europe and the EU within
of interest from the European print media and that internet the Member States and beyond, as well as remembering
platforms such as facebook and websites had been used to the past and preparing for the future. These goals could be
draw attention to the various events. He concluded by stating achieved by communicating at all levels about the projects
that new media were useful for participation and as a means of and by clearly structuring them. The challenges involved
communication as they provided a good platform for regions included successfully implementing the programme by 2013,
and cities to collect feedback, made it possible to send videos publicizing and raising the profile of projects, adapting to
and photos, and also enabled citizen participation, something, new needs from 2014 to 2020, as well as receiving necessary
which also fostered democracy. feedback. She concluded by pointing out that consultation of
citizens during the pilot phase, as well as networking needed
Peter Lindvald-Nielsen gave an overview to be improved to interpret feedback more effectively and
of the European Economic and Social make the necessary adjustments.
Committee's project entitled ‘Your Europe-
Your Say’. This project had offered a model Catherine van Eeckhaute gave an
plenary session on specific subjects such as overview of ‘U@Marenostrum’, a project by a
alcohol abuse, which engaged members, non-governmental organisation addressing
while at the same time reaching out to public participation for water protection
young people as a specific target audience. He stressed and management in Europe and emerging
the importance of using different ways to grab the public's democracies. As the environment and water
attention and concluded that the project had attracted the were key issues at any governance level,
interest – and ensured the presence – of the local media in the use of E- participation in environmental decision making
the Member States. The ripples in the local media had left a and policy implementation helped reach all levels concerned,
lasting trace and had led to a general increase in interest in local, regional, national and international. She highlighted
the project, partly due to the use of tools such as facebook. The the need to fully harness the potential of technology in
Economic and Social Committee was planning to continue communication to achieve participation in order to inform
with the project in 2011. people, educate them, monitor, visualise, interact and conduct
feedback. Communication increased the level of participation
and helped ensure coherence with the related initiatives.
Therefore, there was a need for a dissemination strategy,,
which successfully combined traditional marketing media and
an on-line presence.

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  21


Parallel workshops: 13 October 2010, 16:15-17:30 - Getting people behind a project

Fernando Monar gave an assessment In his final comments, Christian de La Guéronnière pointed
of the ‘Forum of Citizenry’ project in the out that networks and small scale meetings were the way
Balearic Islands that had been founded on forward for encouraging participation. Citizens could get
the basis of the principle of transparent involved by using online questionnaires, but evaluations
democracy and which sought to increase needed to be followed up and participation needed to be
participation, listen to citizens' views on increased further still through the use of networking.
various issues and to assess the policies and
quality of public services. The forum, which was made up of 75 Elke Löffler closed the session by stating that there was plenty
members, carried out a biannual opinion poll. It had made an of diversity in terms of participation experiences across the
important contribution to the policies of integrity, consumers’ various sectors and levels of government. As participation was
concerns, and was currently examining the issue of early increasing in general, the challenge was not to increase the
school leavers, using among others the internet as a platform quantity but rather the quality of the consultations. Ms. Löffler
and tool for communication. The main challenge was getting highlighted the need to ‘enable government to work with
people involved and keeping them interested in a voluntary people to help them improve their quality of life’.
commitment, which was highly specific and not related to
their personal everyday concerns. The general conclusions were that

Bjorn Kjellstrom presented a project on  Citizens needed to be involved in issues that they were
the reform of the Common Agricultural interested in, rather than issues that were of interest to the
Policy. This was a policy issue that actively institutions.
involved and concerned the citizens. As  Citizen engagement would make a major difference and
for how we could encourage people to would not just lead to marginal changes.
get involved in various projects, he stated  Information needed to be provided using accessible
that both the role of the local media in the language.
region and the organisation of after work debates by citizens,  Going local and collaborating most closely with the
which represented a direct form of dialogue, was capable of citizens who know most about the issues at stake.
increasing participation and getting people behind different
projects. Even though he concluded that it was too early to see
the results of the project, it was most likely that the traditional
forms of media communication would be the main tools used
to reach the general public concerned, including farmers,
consumers and environmental organizations.

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Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45

Europe going local


Moderated by Hans Brunmayr, Honorary Vice-President of the Club of Venice, this workshop saw contributions
from the following speakers: Miguel Ángel Pérez, Director of Communication of the Region of Murcia, Spain,
Katrin Ruhrmann, Director for Information Offices at the European Parliament, Wolfgang Petzold, Head of
Unit at the Committee of the Regions, Mihela Zupančič, Head of the European Commission Representation
in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Laurent Riéra, Director of Communication at Evry Centre, Essonne agglomeration,
France. The workshop's experts were Marcel Kopmels of European Service Network (ESN), Brussels, Belgium, and
Linda Jakobsone, Associated Researcher at Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, Latvia.

This workshop reviewed some of the be reinforced. He also noted that better coordination and more
lessons learnt from cooperation between coherence among EU communication strategies would also be
local authorities, national governments and welcome.
the EU institutions. The moderator, Hans
Brunmayr, opened the session by stressing Katrin Ruhrmann began by noting that
the importance of ‘going local’ when the European Parliament (EP) worked
communicating about Europe. Reaching out closely with the EU Information Offices and
to the local level was the key to successful communication. Mr with all the European capitals in matters of
Brunmayr then introduced the speakers and invited them to communication. The EP organised a number
share their experiences on communication projects aimed at of large information campaigns, conferences
the European public. and events each year, which were both
formal and informal in nature. Ms Ruhrmann stressed the need
Miguel Ángel Pérez highlighted the need to involve all stakeholders in communication campaigns and
to strengthen the link between the media to make more effective use of new media. Furthermore, as the
and local administrations. It was important MEPs were involved in EP activities, they could be considered
to redesign the EU message and to channel to constitute important contact points for the general public,
it more effectively to the local media, which which was, in turn, able to influence EU policy making through
was a key interface for EU citizens. Mr the EP. Ms Ruhrmann also encouraged the use of ‘multipliers’
Pérez then presented a number of specific in the context of communication, referring to influential
ongoing projects in Murcia such as an educational game for persons who shared information and were able to effectively
schools and a project entitled www.DebateJoven.eu which disseminate it further.
was supported by Europe Direct. These projects aimed to reach
out to young people in Spain with a European message. In his
conclusions, Mr Pérez noted that the Europe Direct Network, as
well as networking between the media in general, needed to

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Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 - Europe going local

Wolfgang Petzold presented the OPEN the added value of EU policies. In her final remarks Ms Zupančič
DAYS, the European Week of Regions and emphasized the need to reflect on how the issue of Brussels-
Cities. Co-organised by the Committee of imposed policies versus the inclusive two-way communication
the Regions and the European Commission's method could be addressed more effectively.
Directorate-General for Regional Policy,
this annual event brought together over Laurent Riéra presented a local newspaper, ‘Le Petit Quentin’,
6,000 participants, experts and journalists which issued a special edition in cooperation with the European
for discussions on the theme of regional policy. Mr Petzold Commission, as a means of informing the population of Saint
explained that the event had originally focused on the interest Quentin about European issues. This publication presented
and expertise of Europe's local and regional authorities in practical information, such as information on the European
implementing EU Cohesion Policy. It continued to involve insurance card and the 112 emergency number, along with
more than 240 regions and cities in discussions on EU funding, articles on EU policies, such as the use of structural funds in the
projects and good practice. Since 2006, in addition to the region, in an accessible way. Mr Riéra stressed the importance
Brussels-based workshops and events, decentralized events of engaging the municipalities and other regional authorities
under the title ‘Europe in my region/city’ had been organised in communicating the EU's messages. More should be written
across Europe – more than 260 in 2010 in 35 countries involving about EU issues that were important to the general public
an audience of about 25,000 citizens - covering numerous and close to their daily lives, in a language that was easy
EU policy issues related themes close to local interests. These to understand. Mr Riéra concluded by encouraging the EU
events were widely covered by the local media. Mr Petzold Institutions to support these types of communication projects,
noted that the OPEN DAYS series had become a European for example by providing information, statistics and interviews
brand – with local ownership. It had proven to be successful in with VIPs, to make it easier for the local press to communicate on
communicating on Europe, as it had a central message, but used Europe.
many different approaches to communicate it, both in Brussels
and at local and regional level. The moderator then invited the experts to
comment. Marcel Kopmels stressed the fact
Mihela Zupančič shared her experiences of reaching out to that if we wanted to be more effective, it was
specific target audiences in her case study of the Schengen important to bear in mind that the larger
Area Enlargement in Slovenia. The standard EU communication the public, the simpler the message had
message had proven to be completely at odds with the local to be. A simplified and emotional message
experience, as local people were upset and even disrupted would be better received than a complex
by the new Schengen border. However, using two-way rational message. Furthermore, public institutions should send
communication with the local mayors, municipalities and other out specific messages tailored to different audiences. Attention
opinion shapers, it had been possible to mitigate this conflict should be paid to the social media, and to the complexity of
effectively. Consequently, it was important to find ways to close the issue of control vs. influence, especially where the new
the communication gap between the institutions and the media were concerned. All these issues represented enormous
general public, by targeting the message and respecting the challenges for public communicators.
citizens. It was also important to communicate effectively on

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Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 - Europe going local

Linda Jakobsone stated that information should be linked


to issues that people wanted to know more about, such as
raising standards of living as well as issues of relevance to
local on-going debates. Moreover, it was important to reflect
on what means of communication were used, and to find the
most efficient way of communicating, be it via traditional or
new media. Ms Jakobsone also stressed the effect of multipliers
and influential persons, who could play an important role in
disseminating information further, sometimes in unexpected
ways.

Once again, the discussions had demonstrated that the best


way of influencing public opinion was through the use of tailor-
made messages, which took into account target groups and the
reality on the ground. The workshop ended with a number of
questions from the audience.

In short, the following issues were discussed:

 How the EU institutions – and other public institutions –


could implement two-way communication with a wider
audience, and make better use of their feedback.
 How the public institutions could make sure the messages
they wanted to share were understood in the way they had
intended.
 How, for example, the existing Europe Direct Network could
be made more efficient
 Was it possible to envisage the adoption of a joint
communication strategy for all the EU institutions?

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  25


Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 - Communicating with the media

Communicating with the media


This panel discussion was moderated by Olivier Alsteens, Director-General for External Communication in the
Belgian Federal Government. The panellists were Christophe Midol-Monnet, Chief Editor of European Affairs at
Euronews, Jaume Duch Guillot, Director of Media and Spokesperson of the European Parliament, Erik Hansen,
Director of Communication for the City of Oslo, Norway, Grigore Virsta, Europe Affairs Editor at Romanian Public
television, Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission and Professor Paul
Statham, Director of Research at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol,
United Kingdom.

Olivier Alsteens introduced the panel Jaume Duch Guillot was given the floor
and opened the debate by addressing a to explain how the European Parliament
concrete issue from the perspective of worked with the media to draw as much
institutional communication and its media attention as possible to its work. He stressed
impact. The question concerned a recent that many things happened in the EP that
visit by European Commission President were of interest to reporters and that it was
José Manuel Barroso to Hungary and important to coordinate and structure the
the media coverage of this event. Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen information accordingly. Reporting about institutional issues
confirmed that it had attracted media interest, especially was done by the press service but information was also issued
with regard to the industrial disaster and that the media had by the political groups etc. Mr. Duch Guillot outlined the
wanted to know how Europe could help. importance of helping journalists to find their topic. If there
was information about a particular Member State, it was always
Mr. Alsteens wondered whether or not the Commission helpful to get in touch directly with its media.
had intended to bring Mr Barroso to the Danube to the
place where the accident had actually occurred. Ms. Hansen Erik Hansen was asked to present what the
explained that the Commission's objective with this visit City of Oslo did to generate media interest.
had been to explore how help could be provided and what It was very important to communicate
needed to be done most urgently. The answer had been to continuously with the media on a daily basis
send experts to work on the ground and to show support but it was also necessary to correct mistakes
for the EU's Hungarian partners. In the subsequent debate, made by the media. The City of Oslo
however, the panellists repeatedly stressed that taking Mr organised a special event for journalists
Barroso to the Danube would have generated much more each autumn to make them more familiar with the various
media interest. aspects of its work. As regards correcting errors, the City always
contacted the editor of the publication directly to ask that the
necessary correction be made.

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Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 - Communicating with the media

Ms. Hansen confirmed that the considered EU topics to be too complex to


Commission also tried to correct mistakes, be reported at their level.
where necessary. The topics were often
quite technical. This was also dependent Grigore Vista confirmed that going local
on the availability of resources. Mr. Duch was important. Romanian public television
Guillot said that the European Parliament's broadcast a weekly programme focusing
main task was not to correct what had been on EU issues but decentralised regional
reported incorrectly but rather to communicate the substance TV stations were also in place to report news, for example to
of its policies, the soul of the story. cover the Danube tragedy. It was also important to make the
EU news more ‘digestible’ and more attractive for the general
Paul Statham was asked to comment on public.
the discussion. He mentioned that, based on
a number of studies that had been carried Mr Duch Guillot outlined the importance of providing
out on the subject, it seemed that there training for journalists from the Member States and inviting
was an extremely low public demand for radio and TV journalists to broadcast in Brussels; the EU had
reporting on EU issues. That is why it was very local offices in large cities in Member States yet the local press
important that the EU institutions tried to often simply relied on the press agencies for their information.
communicate in a way that was as easy to understand as possible.
It was necessary to always bear in mind which section of the Ms Hansen confirmed that the local offices tried to work with
public would be targeted. Many journalists confirmed that if they the local press as well. Nowadays there were more resources
were given lengthy reports, they would not report on them. Ms for covering the local media. She affirmed that the local media
Hansen disagreed with Mr Statham on his point about reporting were often reluctant because journalists based in Brussels had
on elite politics, which had nothing to do with people's everyday more expertise to write about EU affaires.
lives. Many EU decisions had a very direct impact on peoples’ lives.
She also stressed that providing information on European issues Mr Alsteens asked if the Commission was giving any thought
should also be the responsibility of the Member States and that to how a new project could be presented?
this job was often not done properly.
Ms Hansen explained that a dialogue took place between the
The moderator then changed the focus to the issue of how communicators and the experts from the DG in question and
we could get the local media involved. As Europe was often that the result was then reported back to the local offices.
considered to be remote, could using local media, which knew
their local audience better, be a good way of reaching the local Mr Statham underlined that it was important to provide the
public? How could the messages be decentralised? media with information about topics such as globalisation
which had direct consequences for peoples’ lives. People often
There was a comment from the floor (spokesperson from the had the impression that a lot went on behind closed doors.
office of the European Ombudsman) who noted that very People did not understand complicated procedures such as
often when institutions tried to go local, they were redirected the Constitution; the media had to translate such issues for the
to the EU correspondent. Journalists in the local media often ordinary public.

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Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 - Communicating with the media

Mr Duch Guillot pointed out that not all of the responsibility


lay with the EU institutions but that the issue of how and
which topics the media communicated was also important.
Another problem was that European politicians, e.g. MEPs,
were not always very well known at national level. Ms Hansen
said that the mission of her office was to create a debate about
what the EU was actually proposing and the decisions it took.
Mr Virsta was convinced that there was sufficient information
available to report about different EU topics. As the editor
of a public TV channel, he regularly attended events such as
OPEN DAYS, Green Days etc. which were organised in Brussels.
They also provided a good opportunity to conduct interviews.
Members of the EP were always keen to give interviews to
make themselves more visible.

In conclusion, it was pointed out that

 the press had a difficult role to play in reporting on Europe


since there was little apparent demand for information on
the part of the general public;
 the lack of a supranational media organisation did not help
to convey messages;
 it was necessary for national governments to acknowledge
their share of the responsibility for reporting on Europe;
 Europe, in reality, did not have one face but should act
with one voice: this, in essence, was the real challenge for
communication.

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Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 - Changing behaviour

Changing behaviour
Moderated by Ylva Tivéus, Director at the Directorate-General for Communication of the European Commission,
this workshop featured presentations from the following speakers: Renata Špačková, International Director of
Ligaris, France, Willy Haslitzer, Director of the ORF network in Carinthia, Austria, Hans-Erwin Barth, Head of
Unit – External and Internal Communication at DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission,
and Peter Löffler, Head of Sector – Communication, Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation,
European Commission.

Ylva Tivéus introduced the panel by revolution, education and employment, ecology and the fight
raising the issue of changing people's against discrimination, road safety and public health. Based
behaviours to achieve certain aims. on her analysis of the campaign, Ms. Špačková named four
She noted that public authorities had major categories that stood out with regard to communication
both soft (communication) and hard with young people: emotions; the search for complicity and
(legislation, taxation) tools at their disposal humour; increased independence and responsibility and
but that it we wanted to achieve lasting finally self-esteem and peer judgement. She emphasized
change, communication should not be viewed in isolation. the importance of the participative dimension, noting that
Communications should be designed to complement and young people wanted to have ownership of campaigns and
reinforce other interventions. Ms. Tivéus highlighted that in to express themselves within them. In her final remarks, Ms.
the space of just a few years, the task of changing people's Špačková stressed that caution was essential regarding the
behaviours had become a key focus for public sector style of communication which should be based on young
communication. At this point, she invited the speakers to people's genuine concerns. She expressed her firm belief in
present examples from their own sectors: anrti-smoking, eco- effective pan-European communication, but reminded the
citizenship, obesity and disease-prevention. workshop that this would only be possible if we got young
people involved, and aimed for complicity, proximity and
Renata Špačková noted that public interest above all - sincerity.
communication campaigns were usually
targeted at young Europeans, as they Hans-Erwin Barth spoke about the
were still prone to change. She reminded healthy eating campaigns, which had been
everybody that communication with a developed by the Directorate-General
young audience was a highly competitive for Agriculture and Rural Development of
area, as over 60 multi-media campaigns the European Commission: 'Drink it up'
aimed at 15-25 year old Europeans had been organised from and 'The Tasty Bunch'. Both were targeted
2006 to the present day. Young audiences were at the heart at European school children, conveying
of such major EU political and economic issues as the digital the message that it was fun to be fit. The messages were

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Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 - Changing behaviour

conveyed in a way and in a language that the kids could responsibility for the campaign. He also noted that using social
both understand and enjoy. To achieve this objective, a set networks such as Facebook ought to be used as a benchmark
of integrated communication tools had been developed, for communications aimed at changing behavior, as it was the
including a website with quizzes and photo competitions and major place of interaction for young Europeans.
animation events at schools. Mr Barth emphasized the role
of political will as an essential element for supporting joint Peter Löffler spoke about the efforts to
efforts to fight obesity. Both campaigns which he presented change Europe's energy landscape through
aimed to achieve the EU priority on balanced diet and the ‘Sustainable Energy Europe’ campaign.
healthy eating habits and to run alongside two schemes to He admitted that the implementation
provide fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy products to schools. of European policies was very difficult,
Mr Barth stressed the importance of getting people to take as it required huge involvement from
ownership of the project. He gave an example of a school in both national governments and the local
Cyprus, where teachers, pupils and parents had all engaged population. For this reason, the communication strategy for
in a whole day of activities including sport, theatre, market Sustainable Energy had set up a vast network of ambassadors
and discussions. He noted that supporting a campaign with who promoted the policy through their activities and political
significant media coverage along with the testimonial of a involvement. Mr. Löffler highlighted the power of the image
celebrity was always a good idea as it provided credibility, in marketing strategies and gave examples of the artistic
visibility and helped get the message across. Mr Barth projects that had supported the campaign. In order to increase
concluded with a statement that campaigns should focus on media coverage, the European Commission had organised
convincing people not to take up bad habits, as breaking them a European Sustainable Energy Week, which had provided
was much more difficult. an opportunity to communicate more on the project, giving
it a good focus. Mr Löffler stressed that although the media
Willy Haslitzer shared the experience of tended to be reluctant to broadcast news about European
promoting multilingualism and the Europe- policies as they found them 'boring', they were nevertheless an
oriented approach by a regional network of ultimate channel for conveying success stories. The European
ORF, the Austrian broadcasting corporation. Sustainable Energy Week had involved the organisation of
He explained how the objective of cross- some 80 events in Brussels along with up to 500 energy days
border thinking was achieved by presenting throughout Europe, providing both information and visibility.
Europe ‘as an emotion that needed to be In his final remarks, Mr Löffler noted that the European
aroused’. ORF had been actively involved in encouraging Commission needed to educate people without being too
multilingualism among the population of Carinthia for a didactic, as experience showed that a patronising approach
number of years, offering Slovenian language courses in order discouraged people from acting.
to achieve the ambitious goal for all citizens to be at least
trilingual. Mr Haslitzer stressed that focusing on the emotional In the subsequent debate, the moderator and the
aspects of communication helped to ensure a lasting change panellists discussed the measures that could complement
in behavior. In his conclusions, he highlighted the importance communication, such as the introduction of a smoking ban
of partnership building and giving people a sense of in public places. Ms Tivéus noted that Europe began at

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Parallel workshops: 14 October 2010, 09:30-10:45 - Changing behaviour

local level and therefore invited Harald Stranzl of the Foreign


Ministry of Austria to explain how they had managed to
change the attitudes of local politicians towards the European
Union.

In their final remarks and conclusions, the panellists agreed on


the following points:

 EU news should be published/broadcast in a way that was


as succinct and as easy to understand as possible, so that
the media would be encouraged to pass on important
messages about EU policies.
 The greater participation of local partners was vital; a
platform should be provided to report about their activities
and explain Europe to the citizens.
 Public interest campaigns should avoid a top-down
attitude; it was better to approach the media and to create
partnerships rather than to just force them to convey
certain messages. This approach meant that the media
could have both responsibility and control over content.
 Story-telling was the best strategy for communicating
Europe – but it would only be successful if it was both local
and inspirational in nature. Peer pressure and the self-
esteem of the citizens should always be taken into account
by public communicators – campaigns based around
these elements were particularly appealing as people
generally disliked being told what to do from a patronising
position.
 Empowering people and giving them a sense of
'ownership' of the campaign was the best way of ensuring
sustainable communication.

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  31


Closing Session: 14 October 2010, 11:45-12:15

Public sector communication in Europe


In his keynote speech, Reijo Kemppinen, Director-General for Press, Communication, Transparency at the
Council of the European Union stressed the point that people had become more infatuated with the medium
of 'cyberspace' than with the message they were actually trying to get across. Communicating European
institutions and informing the audience about their work could be difficult as EU citizens did not understand
the message due to the inward-looking approach of the EU institutions. New forms of social media such as
facebook, twitter, or youtube, could be seen as revolutionary but only if they were understood and used properly.
Public texts in ‘eurospeak’ had to be made accessible for all and there was a need to differentiate between
communicating the image and actions of the institutions and providing our citizens with information about the
EU. He emphasised that it was time to go back to basics, to focus on what, and to discuss in which areas people
might actually achieve more by working together. Context was more important than syntax and every act of
communication should start with basic questions such as: Whom am I talking to? What do I want to get out of
this? Why am I doing it now?

should also be given to environmentally friendly means of


communication. ‘Communicating Europe’ to its citizens and
communicating Europe at all levels was not only an important
task, but a major challenge as well. Given that the public
wanted to have more influence, there was a need for quality
Kris Peeters participation and consultation. That was why ‘Flanders in Action’
Minister-President of the Flemish Government worked together with civil society and why it used a professional
communication strategy. He concluded that the EuroPCom
Kris Peeters Minister-President of the Flemish Government, conference provided the key to unlocking potential and making
congratulated the participants on the success of the first a wealth of information available.
EU public communication conference and its promising
network. Communication, for public services, was important The subsequent debate was moderated by Béatrice Delvaux,
for informing people about their rights and duties as citizens, Executive Editor of the Le Soir newspaper from Belgium.
especially as each target group had its own specific needs and The panellists – Paul Statham, Research Director, School of
priorities. Contact with the public and with businesses could Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol,
be maintained by using a variety of instruments such as twitter, United Kingdom, Elke Löffler, Chief Executive, Governance
new technologies, and tools for communicating. Attention International, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Bridgette Wessels,

32  Co m m u n icat i n g i n E u r o pe – Co m m u n ic at i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010


Closing Session: 14 October 2010, 11:45-12:15

Lecturer in Sociology, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom,


Linda Jakobsone, Associated Researcher, Centre for Public
Policy PROVIDUS, Latvia and Stefano Rolando, University of
Milan, Italy, and President of the Club of Venice – summed up
the key messages from their workshops. Stefano Rolando
University of Milan, Italy, and President of the Club
of Venice

Stefano Rolando stated that only 35% of professional


communicators said that they took part in the decision-
making process within their institution. Therefore, there was a
Linda Jakobsone, need to draw up a strategy for getting more communicators
Associated Researcher, Centre for Public Policy involved in the decision making process. With regard to
PROVIDUS, Latvia
the EU, he highlighted the importance of being creative
Linda Jakobsone identified going local as the key message that and working with digital media communication and new
had been learned. She stated that it was essential to trust the technologies. Local level communication, however, was
citizens and to ask them for their opinion on various issues as deemed to be a key factor.
they had the best understanding of where potential problems
could lie. The educational aspect was also vital as it was crucial
for ensuring that EU citizens understood both the EU and its
system.
Paul Statham
Director of Recearch at the School of
Sociology,Politics and International
Studies,University of Bristol,United Kindom.
Paul Statham presented the key message he had learned by
Bridgette Wessels stating that multilevel and cross bordered decision making had
Lecturer in Sociology, University of Sheffield, United become a necessity. There was a need to replace technocratic
Kingdom
language with a communicable language. The media had
Bridgette Wessels stated that social media had the potential to transform the message into narratives that were easy to
to reach out to people but noted that there was a need for understand.
greater innovation and flexibility of tools. Institutional changes
in networking were fundamental and the level of knowledge Ms. Wessels added that the democratic process at EU level and
needed to be increased using social media and other forms of the democratic process at local level needed to be mediated in
popular communication in communities, alongside work with a successful way. Ms. Jakobsone addressed the issue of proximity
trusted local authorities. Ms. Wessels concluded that raising as she stated that although going local was important it did
awareness and intergenerational learning were important not solve the proximity issue that needed to be addressed.
processes in these times of transformation. Professor Statham stressed that mass communication allowed
issues to become remote and that it did not therefore address
proximity issues. National and local governments and their
national and local media should do more to incorporate Europe
as well. Mr. Rolando suggested that evaluation meant working
out appropriate criteria and putting things into context. Contact
Elke Löffler between institutions and citizens needed to be established by
Chief Executive, Governance International, all means of communications and peripheral institutions should
Birmingham, United Kingdom
be in charge of the social field.
Elke Löffler referred to the workshop ‘getting people behind a
project’ by stating that power had to be shared with the citizens Ms. Delvaux then raised the following question: What
and that target groups needed to be involved in the decision would make public communication by the various levels of
making process if people were to support government projects. governments more European?

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  33


Closing Session: 14 October 2010, 11:45-12:15

Mr. Rolando argued that those who had built Europe had talked and communicated using peers and the media. She
invented a system of relations between countries using ‘peace’ had therefore introduced a website for young people made
as their watchword. Later, the idea that we could look forward, by young people that got the message across. Ms. Wessels
reform and make changes was encapsulated by the watchword underlined that social media was just a form of communication
"project". However this had ended with the Lisbon Treaty. Today and a tool and therefore fostering debate about values and
there was a conflict between the EU and the member states social media merely represented part of a greater picture.
which led to "fear" being the key word that was associated
with Europe. He suggested, therefore, that the next generation Ms Delvaux then asked the panellists about their views
needed to decide what the fourth watchword would be. regarding the challenges and the next steps in the development
of government communication. Professor Statham focused
on increasing politicisation as the growing visibility of Europe
"It's time to go back to basics: to focus on would raise the stakes for everybody. The EU motor dealt
what rather than who; to discuss where with challenges such as accessibility and visibility for attentive
we might achieve more by working members of the public while also addressing crucial issues such
together; to focus our differences in areas as the financial crisis and global warming. Ms. Jakobsone raised
where they matter; to admit that the best the question of how much people in Europe really needed to
guarantee to achieve nothing is to try and know about Europe. National governments had a huge role in
achieve everything at once." communicating and providing information and people needed
to be shown where they could look for information themselves.
Reijo Kemppinen,
Director-General, Press, Communication, Transparency, Council of the EU Ms. Wessels suggested a move towards partnership,
democratic networks and organisational structures. It was
Mr. Kemppinen asked us not to give up on 'our generation yet' essential to establish who was doing what and to identify who
and stated that for 25 years the watchword had been ‘more’ and the key players and key partners were. Ms. Löffler concluded that
then ‘basta’. The word of the next generation, according to him, doing communication 'with people' and not 'to people' was the
would be ‘well-being". The question of social media addressed right approach. Mr. Rolando mentioned that communication
the role of public authority and the issue of who was authorized needed to be strategic. Therefore, politicians and decision
to communicate. Ms. Löffler stated that young people listened, makers needed to be put on the spot in roundtable discussions.

34  Co m m u n icat i n g i n E u r o pe – Co m m u n ic at i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010


Conclusions

Conference conclusions by the organisers and


presentation of the EuroPCom platform
The conference was brought to a close by the communication directors from the three institutions, which
had organised EuroPCom: Laurent Thieule from the Committee of the Regions, Jacques Moisse from the
Public Service of Wallonia and Karl Musschoot from the Flemish Government.

Mr. Thieule gave his assessment of approach among communicators and the internet platform,
the title ‘Communication in Europe - EuroPCom made it possible to connect with others in addition
Communicating on Europe’ and suggested to the annual event, providing a necessary tool for public
that communication about Europe communicators.
should build on the communication
pyramid to ensure that communication Mr. Musschoot presented the
was provided at all levels. He emphasised EuroPCom platform and the website
that communication tools and content were essential issues www.europcom.net which offered an
that had been addressed during the conference. Mr. Thieule opportunity to network, to contact
stressed that people needed to talk about Europe in a registered participants, to share ideas and
decentralised way and that there were multiple formats and best practices and to access information
messages at stake. Decentralisation, going local and bottom which was necessary and relevant to the
up initiatives were the key messages of the conference. The everyday work of public sector communicators.
goal was to make it a sustainable conference for people to
share ideas, network, exchange best practices and mobilize the
diverse public to get involved.

Mr. Moisse presented the joint idea of


holding a conference about public sector
communications during the Belgian
presidency. He strengthened the need
for legitimacy regarding the role of public
communicators as they worked closely with
the board of directors and communicated
their decisions to citizens and target audiences. Mr. Moisse
stressed the importance of getting citizens involved and
networking as a tool, which allowed citizens to take the EU
on board. There was a need for a proactive, participatory

Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  35


36  Co m m u n icat i n g i n E u r o pe – Co m m u n ic at i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010
Communi cating in E u r o pe – Co m m u n i cat i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010  37
Results of the online evaluation
The 1st EuroPCom conference was evaluated by its participants through an online survey held between 18 and 29 October. Out of
700+ participants, speakers and chairpersons, 177 responded (25.3%), quite a significant turn-out compared to similar surveys. The
chart below shows the conference participants by their organisational affiliation. In the survey, participants from regional and local
administrations were slightly overrepresented.

Regional and
local
administrations
Other 26.5%
17.6%

Communication
agencies National
14% administrations
12.9%

University EU institutions
Press
2% Civil society 15%
4%
organisations
8%

Participants of the survey came from 23 countries, most of them from Belgium (64), followed by Germany (13) and France (12).
Significantly underrepresented were countries such as Poland, Spain and the UK.

Most participants answering were in the age bracket between 31 and 40 (58), followed by those between 41 and 50 (45) and 20 and
30 (31).

Thematically, most participants favoured to continue with many of the themes discussed during the conference while issues such as
social media, participatory and citizen-oriented campaigns, and examples for 'multi-level' communication were highlighted several
times. In terms of methods of conference organisation, participants wished that seminars were held more in workshop style, more
time was allocated to debate and networking ('world café'), and not only success stories but examples where things went wrong
were presented as well.

These findings are mirrored by the ratings participants gave on their main interests: 97% found 'learning about good practice' most
important, 88% referred to 'networking', 69% to 'EU institutions' communication, while 46% wanted to promote their region or city.

121 (71.2%) participants answered that they would participate in another conference on the subject, while 43 (25.3%) were 'not sure',
and 6 (3.5%) said they would not.

38  Co m m u n icat i n g i n E u r o pe – Co m m u n ic at i n g o n E u r o pe - Conference Proceedings 2010


CdR868/11-2010/EN
EuroPCom is organised by
Organised
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