A point of departure of the book was the recognition of the incontestable complex nature of the EU political system due to its multi- level organization and to its polycentric governance structure. In this context, it’s argued, public communication serves as a “transmission belt” for information, meanings and values among the various publics. Communication performs a crucial legitimating function among EU publics at a twofold level: systemic and organizational. Through public communication, in fact, the EU could reach different types of public, collect information about their concerns, inform them about its policies and processes, and justify its actions. But in order to be really effective, public communication requires also the EU to have in place a management approach that allows to choose and to adapt messages to each public and to transmit them using the more appropriate channel. In this perspective, the well-known EU “communicative deficit” could be intended both as a systemic and organizational deficit. The EU has, in fact, been along blamed for having not provided to citizens sufficient and clear information on policies allowing their political participation. But it has been also criticized for having not managed those activities in a coherent and integrated way. Authors in the book portrayed a partially different picture. If we look at the communication strategy elaborated across the years by the EU and the Commission, what clearly emerges is that the EU has developed a quite differentiated communication approach, targeting different publics — individual citizens, journalists, civil society organizations, experts, etc. — and adopting different tools. EU institutions and, particularly, the Commission, have until now approached communication in a pragmatic way, as a mean to improve policy effectiveness or, at least, as an instrument of propaganda in times of crises. This approach has changed when it has become evident that output legitimacy cannot support by itself EU democratization and that citizens have to voice their needs and opinions. But a sort of “dirigiste” approach to public communication still persists. Problems of co-ordination and integration, in fact, have arisen since the Commission has centralised its communication activities in spite of the recent calls for de-centralisation. The Commission should solve several questions, partially connected each other, in order to implement effectively its public communication strategy: how to ameliorate its relations with national media and their news management logic; how to effectively empower the local level within the communicative process; how to assure the whole effective co-ordination of activities especially at the inter-institutional level; how to move from the widely recognised elitist approach toward a more participatory one; how to strengthen the role of EU policy communication in the process of democratisation and legitimation of the EU. The EU communication strategy has become the central focus ofseveral studies in the field of media studies, political science, and political philosophy. The complex and still evolving nature of the EU calls scholars for experiencing new theoretical and empirical paths. The book has had the ambitious to demonstrate how important the adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach is in order to better grasp the evolution of the EU public communication.

Conclusions

NESTI, GIORGIA;
2010

Abstract

A point of departure of the book was the recognition of the incontestable complex nature of the EU political system due to its multi- level organization and to its polycentric governance structure. In this context, it’s argued, public communication serves as a “transmission belt” for information, meanings and values among the various publics. Communication performs a crucial legitimating function among EU publics at a twofold level: systemic and organizational. Through public communication, in fact, the EU could reach different types of public, collect information about their concerns, inform them about its policies and processes, and justify its actions. But in order to be really effective, public communication requires also the EU to have in place a management approach that allows to choose and to adapt messages to each public and to transmit them using the more appropriate channel. In this perspective, the well-known EU “communicative deficit” could be intended both as a systemic and organizational deficit. The EU has, in fact, been along blamed for having not provided to citizens sufficient and clear information on policies allowing their political participation. But it has been also criticized for having not managed those activities in a coherent and integrated way. Authors in the book portrayed a partially different picture. If we look at the communication strategy elaborated across the years by the EU and the Commission, what clearly emerges is that the EU has developed a quite differentiated communication approach, targeting different publics — individual citizens, journalists, civil society organizations, experts, etc. — and adopting different tools. EU institutions and, particularly, the Commission, have until now approached communication in a pragmatic way, as a mean to improve policy effectiveness or, at least, as an instrument of propaganda in times of crises. This approach has changed when it has become evident that output legitimacy cannot support by itself EU democratization and that citizens have to voice their needs and opinions. But a sort of “dirigiste” approach to public communication still persists. Problems of co-ordination and integration, in fact, have arisen since the Commission has centralised its communication activities in spite of the recent calls for de-centralisation. The Commission should solve several questions, partially connected each other, in order to implement effectively its public communication strategy: how to ameliorate its relations with national media and their news management logic; how to effectively empower the local level within the communicative process; how to assure the whole effective co-ordination of activities especially at the inter-institutional level; how to move from the widely recognised elitist approach toward a more participatory one; how to strengthen the role of EU policy communication in the process of democratisation and legitimation of the EU. The EU communication strategy has become the central focus ofseveral studies in the field of media studies, political science, and political philosophy. The complex and still evolving nature of the EU calls scholars for experiencing new theoretical and empirical paths. The book has had the ambitious to demonstrate how important the adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach is in order to better grasp the evolution of the EU public communication.
2010
Public Communication in the European Union: History, Perspectives and Challenges
9781443818469
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2421843
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