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The European Union’s burden – Information and communication to a reluctant people

The European Union annually spends several million euros on opinion-shaping activities designed to promote a broader and deeper European integration. Further European integration is a practical political ideal, and many powerful European leaders dream of a united and strong Europe to offset such global powers as the United States and China. Yet Europe’s citizens are conflicted when it comes to further political and economic integration, and have consistently voted down referenda that would move Europe in this direction.

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To bridge this gap, the EU launched a communications effort to burnish the image of European cooperation. It includes traditional printed materials such as books, leaflets and brochures, but also encompasses television, radio, training programs for journalists and legislation designed to give the EU a facelift. More, efforts are underway to create a common European identity in the hopes of building support for closer economic and political cooperation. These activities extend beyond the normal realm of factual information, treading dangerously close to propaganda.

English translation of the report: Den Europeiska unionens börda.

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