Opinion: Criteria, structure and examples for external contributions
Definition and criteria for inclusion
An opinion (OpEd) is an external contribution, which looks at a particular European policy development or issue from a more detached point of view. According to our editorial guidelines, OpEds need to take a stance on EU policy, often making recommendations on a particular issue.
In general, these external contributions come from think tanks or researchers, but also from leading opinion makers, commissioners, ministers or members of the parliament.
Contributions which mainly seek to influence on behalf of a single interest (lobbying pieces), or which self-promote an organisation should not be published as an Opinion. Therefore, when publishing an OpEd, an editor's approval is needed.
Contributions received which do not meet one of these criteria are assumed agreed for publication as a guest blog post on the Guests blog on BlogActiv.eu, if they respect the relevant standards. On topical issues where there is EurActiv coverage, authors may log in and react directly in the comments section under featured articles.
Opinions can be provided in English, French or German. Titles and abstracts may be translated by EurActiv in the other language versions. Opinions in further European languages are welcome by most members of the EurActiv Network.
Opinions are preferably published in extenso (if EurActiv has the author’s or organisation’s explicit approval) and if relevant, then hyperlinked to the original publishing website (Project Syndicate, think-tanks and NGO’s such as EurActiv’s content partners etc.) or the author’s organisation website.
Submitted pieces should be grammatically well-written and should ideally be 500-800 words. OpEds of more than 1.000 words will not be processed.
EurActiv may very rarely edit, but does not commit to doing so.
EurActiv either features a picture of the author or a topical picture that illustrates the contents addressed in the piece.
> Please attach at least one such a picture - in high quality and for which you have the rights of publication - to your submitted piece, ideally with the following dimensions: 1,200 pixels x 800 pixels.
The title and abstract of the opinion reflect the EurActiv’s choice in underlining the relevance of the piece submitted. The title is kept the same as the original if it does fit EurActiv’s criteria, ie. short, easy to understand and snappy. The abstract is a summary in maximum 60 words, connecting with current EU policy debates.
Examples and languages
All contributors are invited to read how other contributors have structured their Opinions here. It will help.
Here are some good examples:
- The EU needs more labour migration, by Cecilia Malmström, EU commissioner
- Un nouveau projet pour Bruxelles, la capitale de l’ Europe, by Alain Deneef, founder of Aula Magna
- Small volume electronic waste remains a problem under WEEE, by Christian Vershueren, Director of EuroCommerce
Whenever needed, the liaison contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
EurActiv does not need to justify its choices, but will usually reply within 3 working days.
For OpEds with a suggested publication date, do send us a copy of you (near) final text at least 2 working days in advance.