On the 20th of February, EIF hosted a breakfast debate with the European Parliament Communication team who presented the Parliament’s communication strategy and campaigning tools for the upcoming elections in 2014. The event was chaired by Alexander Alvaro, Vice-President of the European Parliament and EIF Governor.
Juana Lahousse-Juárez, Director General of DG COMM, talked about the EP’s communication strategy based on politics, policies and values. She explained that Parliament makes an effort to listen to citizens and encourage a dialogue between MEPs and Europeans. She then passed the floor to her colleague to report on Parliament’s presence online. Listen to Juana Lahousse-Juárez’s speech:
Thibault Lesenecal, Head of Web Communications, presented the EP’s strategy on social media and internet. Parliament is active on 12 social media platforms to raise awareness on Parliament’s activities and engagement with citizens. Mr. Lesenecal also presented Newshub, a live web application intended to help citizens, journalists and stakeholders find their way through the enormous amount of content published by EP players. It aggregates political, first-hand and up-to-date information without any editorial intervention. It is also an instant news service, displaying items from the past 5 days. Listen to Thibault Lesenecal’s speech:
Jaume Duch, Spokesman and Director for Media, then took the floor. He explained how all these tools will be used to raise awareness about the upcoming elections and help to bring citizens closer to MEPs. Listen to Jaume Duch’s speech:
During the exchange of views session, MEPs and other guests considered how to bring political interest into the debate. An important question was also raised on how to communicate on behalf of Parliament’s committees. Nathaniel Lubin and Philip Weiss, speakers from a previous evening’s debate on ‘US Presidential Elections 2012 - Lessons for Online Campaigning’, were asked to evaluate Parliaments strategy. VP Alexander Alvaro closed the event by summarizing the debate as “keep calm and communicate”.