The Campaing "Speak up Europe!"
The UEF together with European Movement International (EMI), Euractiv, and Young European Federalists (JEF) has replied to the Plan-D call for proposals of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Communication, led by Vice-President Margot WALLSTRÖM.
During the referendum campaigns for the ratification of the European Constitution, it became clear that the citizens wanted to have a say on how the EU is run: questioning its achievements and challenging the plans of politicians and officials. The citizens have become a powerful element of the European decision-making system. However, increased participation has not necessarily been met with increased information. Additional efforts must be made in order to inform the public about what the EU does, but also to ask the citizens how they want to shape the EU and what they want the EU to do in the future. As a result and as explained in the “Plan D”, the future steps of European integration should be formulated based on the lessons learned from the answers and opinions the citizens provide.
Following this basic logic, a simple, but effective on-line tool was developed– the “What has Europe ever done for us” web portal and animation movie that presents the benefits of the EU, but also offers an on-line space for debate in the shape of forums. The website has had numerous visitors and the forums, numerous contributions – where most people found it provocative. This clearly showed the need for an even stronger promotion through numerous channels.
The main objective of the campaign “Speak up Europe!” was to stimulate and facilitate debates about the current work of the EU and about its future challenges. Through debates, voting, on-line forums and polling, the campaign also offered different entry points for the participation of a vast number of citizens and a stable environment where arguments were put forward and discussions emerged.
Furthermore, the campaign carried the following specific objectives:
- Increasing the level of knowledge about the achievements of the EU in the past 50 years,
- Localise the debate about Europe and Europeanize the national public sphere through several national websites and a large number of local public events,
- Encourage active participation in debates about the EU through a large number of face-to-face meetings and on-line communities
- Extensively collection of opinions on various topics related to the EU through debates, voting, on-line questionnaires and polls,
- Create synergies at national and local level where more interest in European affairs will be generated
- Show the trans-national dimension of EU citizenship, thus contributing to the establishment of the European public sphere through pan-European communication and debating.
The campaign targeted the general public, but also included specific elements focused on youth, civil society and opinion leaders, minority groups, elected representatives and media.
To know more about this campaign, please click on the links below: