At the meeting of the EACD's EU Institutions Working Group, held in Brussels on July 28, the future of the European Union itself was the starting point for a workshop led by working group coordinator Béla Dajka and participatory leadership experts Ian Andersen, Annamária Erdei, Barbara Ortolani and Ursula Hillbrand. Drawing on the ideas and perspectives of the session's participants,  unsurprisingly for an audience of communicators, a recurring concern was the EU's impotance in conveying its message in the face of the more emotional appeal of populist anti-EU groups.

Key conclusions from the workshop were:

  • The EU institutions must reach people directly in order to share information, gain trust and be transparent.
  • Make information about the EU more accessible and less technical.
  • Enable younger people to be the promoters of EU values by explaining to them the benefits they can experience.
  • Establish strong two-way communication channels in order to identify better solutions for challenges.
  • Create a purpose for Europe by finding out what people care about and what they want from Europe.
  • Convince the "difficult" target groups by discovering their needs and by building tailor made messages for them.
  • Engage in discussions with EU sceptics.
  • Make the European Union a strong brand

How would you like to see the EU communicate its message, engage with its citizens and assert its licence to operate?