CODES is a project combining research and public awareness building, co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.
The project develops the discussion with citizens on their perception of the EU membership and will ignite citizens’ thinking about the alternatives and possible negative consequences of the future without the EU. Our main aim is to raise awareness and recognition of the EU benefits among citizens, as our previous experience tells us the EU is often portrayed as a distant blaming figure for the bad policies, while the benefits remain unreported and under discussed.
Through public debates we will identify the sources of public Euroscepticism and fears as a prerequisite for it to be addressed in a meaningful way. Through roundtable-style workshops with local opinion makers we will identify tools with the highest potential to present benefits of the EU in local environment.
The main project output will be INNOVATIVE COMMUNICATION STRATEGY based on bottom–up approach in communicating the EU. The outcomes and lessons learned in the project might be actively used in preparation of the EP elections´ communication strategy. Thus, conclusions of the project will be presented to EU institutions and Member States ministries of EU affairs ahead of the campaign leading to EP elections in 2019.
ONE UNION, TWO UNIVERSES?
Critical Perception of the EU in Six EU Member States.
Future of European integration is increasingly more discussed in current Europe. Our project studied Euroscepticism among ordinary citizens and how this can be addressed on local level. This paper summarizes the citizens’ discussions. Overall, in its first phase the project conducted debates with almost 400 citizens in six member states of the EU. According to citizens, the main benefits of the EU are the four basic freedoms, most of all freedom to travel and work in other parts of the Union. Most criticized were the European funds as the source of corruption, migration crisis as an example of the Union’s failure to protect itself, and the feeling of second-class citizenship. Our project also shows that despite calling issues the same, meanings usually differ among the countries.
BEING ACTIVE, LESS FORMAL AND GOING LOCAL:
ADJUSTING COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
CODES Policy Brief
European politics is increasingly more dependent on the public support for EU. After the Brexit vote and expecting changes in the near future of the European Union public support will play a crucial role. This policy brief presents several suggestions on how to adjust the strategic communication of the EU in order to sustain the support of citizens for the European integration project. Our recommendations are based on empirical research conducted as part of the CODES project in six member states.