EURACTIV presents Wallström with draft ‘Yellow Paper’ on communication

Prior to the official adoption of the Commission's White Paper on EU communication, the founder of EURACTIV, Christophe Leclercq, has presented Commission Vice-President Wallström with ideas on how to improve the EU's communication strategy, in the form of a draft 'Yellow Paper'.

The draft Yellow Paper consists of twelve recommendations:

On the targets of EU communication [Diversify!]:

  • focus not on "the citizens" or the "EU specialists" but on intermediaries and especially national sectoral audiences, leveraging their professional networks
  • involve – early on – companies and trade unions, as well as NGOs
  • no centralising or "streamlining" but light co-ordination between institutions and DGs  

On the methods and channels [Decentralise and Disseminate!]:

  • decentralise radically by nationalising EU debates, empowering representations and enriching careers
  • include communication in all EU programmes and policies
  • train officials, journalists… and politicians
  • complement policy-making with independent debate moderators
  • provide localised multilingual internet content, not just conferences, print and TV
  • optimise and increase communication resources  

On the implementation and timeline [Decide!]:

  • decentralise the debate right away in addition to the inter-institutional negotiations
  • implement recent Commission decisions such as the 2005 July Action Plan as soon as possible 
  • achieve impact before the 2009 elections

[Editors' note: does not take positions on policies, except with regard to its baseline 'faciliter l'efficacité et transparence des acteurs européens']

In October 2004, before the new Commission took office, Friends of Europe, Gallup and EURACTIV published 'Can EU hear me?', a document that included 30 practical ideas for Margot Wallström.

As the only EU-specialised publication with a strong readership outside Brussels, EURACTIV has been following the efforts to communicate better with EU citizens from the start of its activities. In its own modest way, EURACTIV plays a role in the construction of a 'European Public Sphere', one of the main ideas behind Commissioner Wallström's new White Paper. 

The draft Yellow Paper on EU communication was officially handed over to the vice-president of the Commission on Wednesday morning, 1 February.

Vice-president Wallström said: “I welcome EURACTIV’s Yellow Paper as a contribution to the White Paper and will read it with interest. The “CanEUHearMe” report that you prepared with others in 2004, has had its influence on our thinking already. I am looking forward to more and better cooperation with the media in the future.”

  • The recommendations are presented by Fondation EURACTIV, which provides guidance to the network of policy portals, including The draft Yellow Paper is open to comments, and will be finalised in Spring 2006
  • The White Paper presented by Commissioner Wallström opens with a six-month consultation

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