Monday 4 October 2010

Europe 2020 website: From deplorable to absolute disgrace

Macro-economic and fiscal stability, as well as growth-enhancing reforms are the make or break priorities for the European Commission. At EU level the Commission promises, among other things, to unleash the potential of the internal market through a Single Market Act.

All in all, the member states work on the basis of ten integrated guidelines, to be ‘localised’ in national Stability and Convergence Programmes SCPs, based on the Stability and Growth Pact SGP, and National Reform Programmes NRPs which aim to improve growth potential.

The Commission has promised seven flagship initiatives concerning EU level action.

Action and communication

On the Commission’s Europe 2020 strategy website there is now an undated, but useful document on the governance, tools and policy cycle of Europe 2020, but otherwise there is only one last update from 19 July 2010 regarding research funding and a previous press release with the integrated guidelines regarding economic policy and growth reforms (13 July 2010).

These are the only developments I notice since my 10 July 2010 blog post about the EU2020 flagship initiative Youth on the Move, when I called the state of the Commission’s central website for the Europe 2020 strategy deplorable.

The website does not redirect the visitor to a new and better portal for the Europe 2020 strategy. There are neither descriptions nor links to what has been going on since then, except for the three documents mentioned.

About twelve weeks from the previous blog post, by early October 2010, the Commission’s EU2020 website can only be called an absolute disgrace.

It is an elementary rule that action and communication have to advance hand in hand.

The Commission cannot rely solely on the charm of president Barroso. Neither can it let each Commissioner and Commission service communicate as best it can, without pulling together all the plans, proposals, speeches, interviews, discussions, decisions and actions into a meaningful whole.

There has to be one central portal where macro-economic and growth-reforms, at EU level and national level, are presented comprehensively and with daily updates. The Commission as a body must take ownership of both substance and presentation of its key strategies during this formative phase, in a dynamic manner and readable for EU citizens.

Enough time has been wasted.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Comments relevant to the topic discussed in each Grahnlaw blog post are most welcome. However, the number of spam comments keeps skyrocketing. This is the sad reason for comment moderation, so it may take a while before your valued comment appears.

It is easier to understand a language than to use it correctly. As Eurobloggers we could and should promote interaction among Europeans across linguistic and national borders. We can link to blogs and other sources in foreign languages and share different viewpoints with our readers, perhaps explaining the gist of the arguments. Check out, the multilingual aggregator for blogs related to the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Another opportunity is to invite comments in different languages, those we are able to read or by using machine translation to understand the essentials.

Grahnlaw has adopted a multilingual comment policy:

I do my best to read comments in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish, even if the Grahnlaw blog and my possible replies are in English.

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