Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ought I be flattered?

An e-mail arrived today from Gallup-Europe, inviting me to share my expertise. Hmm, I thought. I do make quite a good loaf of bread, even though I say so myself and my apple chutney is quite popular. But really and truly my expertise lies in making cabbage pie.

None of that, alas. Gallup-Europe and Friends of Europe want me to participate in a questionnaire that will eventually feed into a report on how the EU can best communicate with member states.

As encouragement they told me:
In October 2004, Friends of Europe, together with partners from the communication sector, launched its "Can EU Hear Me?" report to the then-incoming European Commission and European Parliament. This influential report can still be downloaded here. This previous report, which integrated useful suggestions from many high-level communication officials, is still used as a reference by the Commission.
Well, goodness me, I thought. If I fill in the questionnaire my opinions might be used as a reference by the Commission. Worth a go, I thought. Then I read the next paragraph:
Now, five years later, with the lowest turnout for the European elections in history and the troubled Lisbon Treaty ratification process, the need still exists for a better communication policy from the EU.
So, that communication exercise was a huge success. I wonder how low the turn-out for the European elections would have been if the report had not been produced.