Monday 6 September 2010

European Commission: Start by publishing Reding’s ‘communication revolution’ plan!

The information leaked to EurActiv remains the main basis for the public discussion about the communication ‘revolution’ planned by commissioner Viviane Reding for the European Commission, but the information is far from complete.

The College of commissioners has discussed Reding’s communication proposals on 1 to 2 September 2010, but we have seen no further information about how the plans were received or what the next steps are going to be.

How the Commission communicates = interacts with 501 million citizen-stakeholders is much more than a matter of internal organisation; it is a fundamental question, especially in the wake of the latest Eurobarometer poll of public opinion in the European Union.

More mundane matters than the Commission’s relationship with the citizens it has been appointed to serve are routinely discussed at length: published in press releases, highlighted in speeches, augmented by independent studies and stakeholder seminars, published for public consultations and later refined as policy proposals.

Tuesday morning 7 September 2010, the president of the Commission, José Manuel Barroso, should use his first “state of the union address” to explain how the European Commission intends to start interacting with the citizens of the European Union in new and better ways, including full disclosure of its approach to communication.

Before any policy or administrative decisions are taken, a public consultation on Reding’s communication plan is an important first step to re-engage with civil society.

Naturally, a wise Commission would then take sensible advice on board.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. The purpose of the European Day of Languages on 26 September 2010 is to inspire you to learn a foreign language.

In this context the European Commission in the UK arranges a Day of Multilingual Blogging, as described by Antonia Mochan on the Euonym blog (Talking about the EU). The UK Representation is joined by the multilingual aggregator and individual Eurobloggers.

Besides being fun and enriching for your soul, languages are an important business, an advantage when you trade and crucial for landing EU jobs, Antonia tells her British compatriots. (The same goes for other EU countries.)

On the event page on Facebook, 122 European bloggers have already signed up to participate in the pan-European Day of Multilingual Blogging, and 109 may be attending. Join the event!

The Twitter hashtag is #babel.

Have you noticed the multilingual blog aggregator, where you can find the posts from blogs related to EU affairs?

It is called, and it has grown to collect the entries by 662 Euroblogs. You can access the page with all the new posts or the front page selection, subscribe to RSS feeds for all posts or editors’ choices (front page), and subscribe to the daily and weekly newsletter.

Reading foreign language Euroblogs offers you two benefits: You become better informed about European affairs and you have fun learning languages.

One example: Even without the Day of Multilingual Blogging, I practice multilingual blogging by occasional posts on my Finnish blog Eurooppaoikeus and my Swedish blog Grahnblawg, in addition to more frequent posting on Grahnlaw (in English).

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