Making the EU relevant

A Constitution for Europe

Now here’s a communication challenge – explain the proposed European constitution to anyone you know. That’s just what the European Commission would like every citizen of the EU to do.

The constitution will affect 25 countries comprising 450 million people who speak over 30 different languages and dialects. Given the general lack of interest in the EU as illustrated in the European elections in June, with citizen apathy figuring large in the low voter turnouts in nearly every EU country, this is a big communication job. It’s arguable that lack of understanding about the EU, and the lack of effective communication by the EU and pro-EU politcal parties, helped the anti-EU groups (who seem better able to articluate what they stand for) make big gains in those elections.

I think I have a reasonably good grasp of what the EU is about and why it’s a Good Thing. My overall positive approach about being in the EU does take a knocking at times, though, when I hear about the latest weird thing the bureaucrats in Brussels want to impose on everyone. (My favourite to date: proposed EU-wide regulation that all bananas must be straight and not curved. Clearly the most important thing 450 million people need to be aware of.) Such things are actually what many people in EU countries hear most about, which colours their judgement about the EU and being part of it.

So asking for help to explain the proposed constitution is a good idea. If explaining the constitution would help people understand the relevance of the EU, even better.


The Future of the European Union
Key Issues for Europe’s Future
Application form for organizing a local debate
Europa: The European Union Online – portal (choose your language)

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