Survey: business and civil society could help cure EU communication ills

EU institutions could leverage existing industry and civil society networks to improve their ailing communications strategy, EURACTIV’s 2006 survey of European federations has found.

Almost half of European business and civil society groups see themselves as potential “multipliers” for EU institutions in helping them to communicate closer to citizens, a EURACTIV survey has found.

When asked what should be the main direction the EU institutions should take to improve its communication strategy, 48% of respondents said they should leverage industry and civil society networks, develop sectoral and professional information and customise communications to individual needs. 45% of companies and trade federations see their own Brussels offices as multipliers, helping EU institutions to communicate better. 36% said their organisations at national level could be perhaps be used further, via specific actions in their own countries.

An even greater proportion of respondents (58%) said the EU should promote open debates and welcome different policy views, even if this means raising controversies between European institutions.

Other questions EURACTIV asked federations in its 2006 survey include:

  • Preferred online communication channels
  • Trends in associations’ external communication policy
  • Number of staff employed on PR/communications and related budget
  • Influence of internet technology on external communications
  • Use of blogs
  • Use of public affairs, public relations and communication consultants
  • Expectations from Commissioner Kallas’ Transparency Initiative

EURACTIV's survey of European federations takes place on a yearly basis. The results of the 2006 edition are based on183 responses from European business federations, NGOs and consumer groups who replied online. The number of respondents increased to 183 compared with the 2005 edition where 120 associations replied. They were 109 in 2004. 

The survey was presented at the 2006 EuroConference in Brussels on 26 April.

  • A summary of the survey is available upon request to participating federations at: euractor@euractiv.com

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