EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 52006DC0035

White Paper on a european communication policy

/* COM/2006/0035 final */


White Paper on a european communication policy /* COM/2006/0035 final */


Brussels, 1.2.2006

COM(2006) 35 final


ON A EUROPEAN COMMUNICATION POLICY (presented by the Commission)

Debating Europe, involving people


Over the last two decades, the European Union has been transformed. It has taken on a wide range of tasks touching citizens’ lives in many different ways. But Europe’s communication with its citizens has not kept pace.

The gap between the European Union and its citizens is widely recognised. In Eurobarometer opinion polls carried out in recent years, many of the people interviewed say they know little about the EU and feel they have little say in its decision-making process. Communication is essential to a healthy democracy. It is a two-way street. Democracy can flourish only if citizens know what is going on, and are able toparticipate fully.

Communication can never be divorced from what is being communicated. Citizens expect Europe to offer them prosperity, solidarity and security in the face of globalisation. It is therefore essential to any communication policy that the EU should deliver an effective policy programme. But delivery by itself is not enough.

The Commission last year set out an Action Plan with a detailed list of specific measures it will take to improve the way it communicates with citizens[1]. These include, for example, reinforcing the Commission representation offices, better internal co-ordination and planning, work on language and presentation, more access points for citizens.

The Commission also launched ‘Plan D for democracy, dialogue and debate’,[2] which is intended to involve citizens in a wide-ranging discussion on the European Union – what it is for, where it is going and what it should be doing.

But these initiatives by the European Commission will only succeed if many more forces are brought into play. A partnership approach is essential. Success will depend on the involvement of all the key players – the other EU institutions and bodies; the national, regional and local authorities in the Member States; European political parties; civil society.

The main purpose of this White Paper is to propose a way forward and to invite all these players to contribute their ideas on how best we can work together to close the gap. The result will be a forward-looking agenda for better communication to enhance the public debate in Europe.[3]

This Agenda would go beyond the scope of the Commission’s own Action Plan. It seeks to involve all levels of government and organisations in the Member States and it has a long term time horizon.

The White Paper invites a lively and open discussion. Part I sets out the Commission’s vision of what an EU communication policy should be and do. Part II identifies the key areas for consultation and future action.

How will the consultation work? In the White Paper, the areas in which the Commission is seeking views and offering suggestions are identified in boxes. The Parliament, the Council and the other EU institutions and bodies are invited to respond to this White Paper through the normal institutional channels. European citizens and stakeholders are invited to respond by logging on to a specially-created multilingual website http:/ or at the postal address White Paper Consultation - European Commission -Directorate General Communication - B-1049 Brussels - Belgium The Commission, in co-operation with other EU institutions, will also organise a series of ‘stakeholder forums’ to which specific interest groups (NGOs, business organisations and other stakeholders) will be invited. A special series of Eurobarometer polls will be launched in Spring 2006 to provide the best possible data for analysis. The consultation period will run for six months. At the end of this period, the Commission will summarise the replies and draw conclusions with a view to proposing plans of action for each working area. |




The ‘communication gap’ between the European Union and its citizens is not new. It has been a subject of discussion in EU circles at least since the referenda that preceded the entry into force ofthe Maastricht Treatyin 1992.

In recent years, all the EU institutions have given a new emphasis to communication work. However, there is a general perception that more has to be done. Communication has remained too much of a ‘Brussels affair’. It has focused largely on telling people what the EU does: less attention has been paid to listening to people’s views. Though consultation mechanisms have become standard practice, these are limited to specific policy initiatives and citizens often have the impression that the channels through which they can take part in the debate are limited or inaccessible. Institutional communication, though essential and steadily improving, has clearly not been sufficient to close the gap.

The European Commission is therefore proposing a fundamentally new approach - a decisive move away from one-way communication to reinforced dialogue, from an institution-centred to a citizen-centred communication, from a Brussels-based to a more decentralised approach. Communication should become an EU policy in its own right, at the service of the citizens. It should be based on genuine dialogue between the people and the policymakers and lively political discussion among citizens themselves. People from all walks of life should have the right to fair and full information about the European Union, and be confident that the views and concerns they express are heard by the EU institutions. The European Parliament, Member States and the representation of European citizens have a special role to play, as peoples’ support for the European project is a matter of common interest.


In today's Europe, citizens exercise their political rights mainly at national and local level. Political rights linked to the European dimension have been introduced, such as the right to participate in the elections of the European Parliament. However, people learn about politics and political issues largely through their national education systems and via their national, regional and local media. They consider the manifestos of political parties dealing with national, regional and local issues, and they discuss these issues mostly in their own communities.

In short, the ‘public sphere’ within which political life takes place in Europe is largely a national sphere. To the extent that European issues appear on the agenda at all, they are seen by most citizens from a national perspective. The media remain largely national, partly due to language barriers; there are few meeting places where Europeans from different Member States can get to know each other and address issues of common interest

Yet many of the policy decisions that affect daily life for people in the EU are taken at European level. People feel remote from these decisions, the decision-making process and EU institutions. There is a sense of alienation from ‘Brussels’, which partly mirrors the disenchantment with politics in general. One reason for this is the inadequate development of a ‘European public sphere’ where the European debate can unfold. Despite exercising the right to elect members of the European Parliament, citizens often feel that they themselves have little opportunity to make their voices heard on European issues, and there is no obvious forum within which they can discuss these issues together. A pan-European political culture – with pan-European political groups and foundations – is still developing.

Europe also needs to find its place in the existing national, regional and local ‘public spheres’ and the public discussion across Member States must be deepened. This is first and foremost the responsibility of the public authorities in the Member States. It is the responsibility of government, at national, regional and local level, to consult and inform citizens about public policy – including European policies and their impact on people’s daily lives – and to put in place the forums to give this debate life.

There is also a real interest in building the European dimension into the national debate. Citizens sense that there is something missing from a national debate which ignores aspects of public policy that are of direct relevance to them. Far from being in competition, a stronger recognition of the European dimension in national political exchange can only add to its credibility.

That is why national public authorities, civil society, and the European Union institutions need to work together to develop Europe’s place in the public sphere.



An agenda for action

The Commission has identified five areas for action in partnership with the other EU institutions, Member States and civil society. This shortlist is not carved in stone: it will grow as society evolves and technologies change.

The five areas are accompanied by possible action points for discussion in the consultation process.


The right to information and freedom of expression are at the heart of democracy in Europe. References to these principles are included in the EU Treaty and in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights[4]. These must be the starting point in a process aimed at defining common principles and a shared vision for an EU Communication Policy.

Other important principles also lie at the heart of communication:

- Inclusiveness. All citizens should have access in their own language to information about matters of public concern. This means that information should be made widely available through a wide range of channels, including the mass media and new technologies such as the Internet. It also means that people from all walks of life in all EU countries should be helped to develop the skills they need to access and use that information. This is particularly important in the case of minorities, disabled citizens and other groups that might systematically be excluded from participation in the public sphere.

- Diversity. European citizens come from widely diverse social and cultural backgrounds and hold a wide variety of political views. EU communication policy must respect the full range of views in the public debate.

- Participation. Citizens should have a right to express their views, be heard and have the opportunity for dialogue with the decision-makers. At EU level, where there is an added risk that institutions are remote from the citizens, this principle is of particular importance.

Defining common principles: which way forward?

The common principles and norms that should guide information and communication activities on European issues could be enshrined in a framework document – for example a European Charter or Code of Conduct on Communication. The aim would be to engage all actors (EU institutions, national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organisations) in a common commitment to respecting these principles and ensure that EU communication policy serves the citizens’ interest. This commitment would be made on a voluntary basis.

The Commission will launch a special web-based citizens’ forum to seek views on the desirability, purpose and content of such a framework document. This will run for a period of six months and be backed up by meetings with stakeholders. Public discussions will also be organised, and the EU Member States will be invited to promote national discussions and consultations. The website will be updated regularly to report on what is happening at European, national and regional level.

At the end of the consultation period, the Commission will present the results of the consultation and then consider whether to propose a Charter, a Code of Conduct or another instrument.


Any successful EU communication policy must centre on citizens’ needs. It should therefore focus on providing the tools and facilities – the forums for debate and the channels of public communication – that will give as many people as possible access to information and the opportunity to make their voices heard.

Future work in this area could aim at three main objectives :

- Improving civic education. Civic education – which is the responsibility of Member States – is crucial for enabling people to exercise their political and civic rights and to become active in the public sphere. Civic education should not be confined to teaching school pupils about EU institutions and policies. It should help people of all ages to use tools such as the Internet to access information on public policy and to join in the debate. This is particularly important in the case of minorities, disabled citizens or other groups that might otherwise find themselves excluded from the public sphere.EU programmes can be of direct support in fostering the European dimension. Programmes like Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, Erasmus, Youth in Action, etc. provide educational and training opportunities for thousands of students and young people across Europe. Information technology programmes seek to reduce the digital divide and tackle exclusion.

- Connecting citizens with each other. New forums for public discussion of European issues are essential for building mutual trust, respect and willingness to work together towards common objectives. While communication technologies are obviously important, face-to-face meetings remain crucial. Existing initiatives like Plan D , Youth in Action and Culture have shown how the EU can help set up new meeting places for civic debate.

- Adoption of the proposed Citizens for Europe programme would offer a new route to connect citizens and to give them a greater say in European governance. The programme is also intended to help Europe-wide civil society organisations to run trans-national projects that promote active citizenship and to hold public debates on Europe.More could also be done to exploit the potential of several existing and planned EU programmes to connect and mobilise European citizens. The Commission could take stock of existing schemes with a view to identifying and disseminating best practices. Lessons can be learned, for example, from the successful experience of the Erasmus students. Over the years, they have spontaneously developed a network that connects 150 000 students from all Member States. Their websites serve as a hub for posting activities, organising face-to-face meetings and engaging in wide-ranging debates on European issues.

- Connecting the citizens and public institutions. Good two-way communication between the citizens and public institutions is essential in a healthy democracy. The present drive to make the EU institutions more responsive, open and accessible needs to continue to strengthen. But this is also an issue for national, regional and local institutions. Bridging the gap between Europe and its citizens means creating and maintaining links between citizens and public authorities all the way from the local to the European level.The EU institutions are taking important steps forward in this respect. The European Parliament has championed transparency, and the Seville European Council agreed that the Council should meet in public when enacting EU legislation jointly with the European Parliament. The 2005 Commission Action Plan on Communicating Europe[5] underlines the importance of listening to citizens and it outlines what the Commission itself intends to do to ‘put its own house in order’ in this respect. The Commission has already made major strides in the way it consults on major policy initiatives and minimum standards for consultation have been introduced. It has also introduced its own European Transparency Initiative[6]. In addition, renewed attention is being paid to implement citizens’ right to communicate with the institutions in their own language. Multilingualism is an integral aspect of the legitimacy, transparency and democracy of the European project

How to reach out to the citizen? Civic education is a national or regional responsibility. But, the EU can help to ensure exchange of best practice andfacilitate the development of common educational ‘tools’ so that the European dimension is reflected more effectively. Member States could be invited to explore the best ways to bring together European teachers in this field, for example through a network, a special programme within existing structures such as the College of Europe, or in a new structure with a view to exchanging ideas on innovative approaches to civic education and to learn new skills. Another important project to be developed by the Member States would be the transformation of libraries into digitally connected European libraries that could work as information and learning centres, ensuring that all citizens have free access to information technologies and relevant information. Member States could cooperate in a joint effort to establish new meeting places for Europeans, open to citizens of all generations and backgrounds, to host cultural and political events relating to Europe. The EU institutions and bodies could work together to co-ordinate, improve and extend their visitors’ programmes. The EU institutions should explore the possibility of complementing EU websites with online forums - ‘virtual meeting places’ – with links to external information sources. The EU institutions must continue their efforts to connect better with citizens. The Commission’s minimum standards for consultation could be reviewed to ensure a more balanced representation of interest groups and a more responsive follow-up. The three main institutions could also consider organising joint open debates to complement Parliamentary debates, taking questions from the public or from journalists. |


The media are key players in any European communication policy.

In recent years, all European institutions have made considerable efforts to improve the way they interact with the media. With over a thousand accredited journalists in Brussels, new energy has been devoted to ensuring that the press are informed of key decisions in real time. Europe by Satellite supplies video, sound and images to the media on behalf of the three main EU institutions, and the European Parliament plans to open itself up to the public via web TV. Europa is the largest website in the world.

However, in spite of these efforts, and the professional competence of Brussels correspondents, media coverage of European issues remains limited and fragmented. Regular major events such as European Council meetings do attract coverage in national newspapers, but during the intervening periods there is no comprehensive cover of EU affairs. Regional and local newspapers reach a larger number of people but generally give little space to European issues. As television and radio have changed their programming patterns, time devoted to political information and to European issues is squeezed still further and competition for ‘television space’ has increased.

The information revolution has fundamentally increased the accessibility of information and has opened up the world of ‘interactive’ media. Unprecedented numbers of people can now easily connect with one another and take part in all kind of networks. But it will still take a lot of work to fully exploit information technology’s potential to close the information gap.

Action should focus on the following targets:

- Giving Europe a human face. The European Union is often perceived as ‘faceless’: it has no clear public identity. Citizens need help to connect with Europe, and political information has greater impact when put in a ‘human interest’ frame that allows citizens to understand why it is relevant to them personally. EU institutions and all levels of government can do more to ‘give a human face’ to the information they provide.

- The national, regional and local dimension. European citizens need access to a steady flow of common information if they are to see the European dimension of common issues. This is where pan-European media and the specialised press have an important role to play. But European issues also need to be discussed in the national and local context. Some of this would flow naturally from a greater commitment on the part of national and local politicians and institutions; but it also needs the proactive involvement of the EU institutions, not least to put European policies in a local context.

- Exploiting the potential of new technologies. Digital technologies such as the Internet can offer new channels for communication on European issues, new forums for civic debate and new tools for cross-border democracy. However, political leadership is needed if Europe is to fully exploit the Internet’s potential and ensure that it does not create new divisions in society. The i2010 Initiative already seeks to close the gap between the information society ‘haves and have nots’ – addressing such issues as equal opportunities, ICT skills and the inequalities between Europe’s regions in terms of Internet access.

How to involve the media more effectively in communicating on Europe? A European communication policy should encourage public bodies at European, national and regional level to: supply the media with high-quality news and current affairs material; work more closely with broadcasters and media operators; establish new links with regional and local communication systems; pro-actively use new technologies. The EU institutions should be better equipped with communication tools and capacities. Two possible ideas to help in this task would be: to upgrade Europe By Satellite, with a focus on producing high quality audiovisual content which is user-friendly for the media and relevant to the citizens, and to explore the desirability of having an inter-institutional service operating on the basis of professional standards. a European Programme for Training in Public Communication, under which officials from European and national institutions could receive training in communication and media technologies. The EU institutions should explore with a wide range of media players how to better provide the media (pan-European, national and local) with material which is relevant for them, with a view to adapting the information to the needs of different countries and segments of the population. Alongside existing initiatives to close the digital divide, a European Round Table for Democracy, as suggested in ‘Plan D’, could be asked to draft a report on Information technologies and democracy in Europe. |


In modern democratic societies, policy-makers devote a great deal of attention to analysing public opinion, using tools such as opinion polls and media monitoring. The importance of these tools has increased in parallel with the tendency for citizens to withdraw from traditional politics (joining political parties, voting in elections, etc.).

European public opinion is complex and diverse, reflecting different national perspectives. Understanding it therefore poses a particular challenge.

The European Commission has been a front runner in developing modern tools – such as the Eurobarometer surveys – for analysing European public opinion:

- Eurobarometer has grown into a major European database which regularly observes public opinion in all EU Member States and in candidate countries, interviewing thousands of people each time. All surveys are subject to independent scrutiny and made available to the general public and to academic researchers

- Independent social research on European issues, supported by EU research funds, has flourished; there have been more than 350 multi-national projects since 1994. It has provided rich insights into the successes and shortcomings of interaction between European policymakers and citizens, based on independent tools for analysis.

- There has been a constant effort to improve the quality and the significance of Eurobarometer. A re-assessment of the methodology is currently under way with a view to responding to the pressing need to have a broader and deeper understanding of trends in European public opinion.

What more can be done to gauge European opinion? EU institutions could work more closely together on designing and planning Eurobarometer surveys and on disseminating the results. Public discussions between the EU institutions and civil society organisations could accompany every new Eurobarometer survey. The first stage could come with a special series of Eurobarometer polls and qualitative studies on EU Communication in spring 2006. To better anticipate and understand trends in public opinion in relation to issues of crucial importance for the future of Europe, new avenues for co-operation between the European institutions and Member States could be explored. Two possible ideas are: A new network of national experts in public opinion research, to help exchange best practices and develop synergies between researchers at all levels. The EU institutions and the Member States could pool available resources to set up an independent Observatory for European Public Opinion which would identify and provide in-depth analyses of trends in public opinion. |


- A working European “public sphere” cannot be shaped in Brussels. It can only emerge if the objective is backed by all key actors and taken forward at every level. The national level remains the primary entry point into any political debate, and Member States’ governments and other national actors have a responsibility to use national channels to ensure a robust European debate.

A partnership approach must involve all key actors:

- Member States have a long-standing commitment to cooperate with the European institutions on informing people about Europe and creating national links with Brussels. Some individual Member States have been actively encouraging public debate – on the proposed EU Constitution, for example – but much more could be done[7].

- More should be done to ensure that the EU institutions work in parallel to improve communication. The EU institutions and bodies participating in the Inter-institutional Group on Information should help decentralise EU communication – ‘going local’ – and encourage Member States to be more active in informing citizens about EU affairs.

- Many European policies and programmes are implemented at regional and local levels . Thus local and regional authorities are well placed to engage in dialogue with citizens and to actively involve local communities in EU issues. There are already successful examples of partnership at work. For example, the Commission and the Scottish Executive are working on a concrete project to ‘bring decisions closer to the people’ through a series of two-way initiatives between citizens and institutions.

- Political parties are important in shaping public opinion on European affairs and they too have a major role to play in stimulating debate and contributing to the European public sphere.

- Civil society organisations , including professional and sectoral organisations, also have a very important role to play in raising public awareness of European issues and policy debates, and in encouraging people to take an active part in those debates.

How will the partnership work? Cooperation between the national and European levels could include new initiatives taken at national level: public and parliamentary discussion on the Commission’s annual strategic priorities; face-to-face discussions between national ministers and European Commissioners, broadcast in the national media, etc. There could be a particular emphasis on areas where the EU and Member States already act in parallel. The vehicles of cooperation could be financial, such as management partnerships of the kind signed between the Commission and the German authorities, or they could be operational – involving cooperation with the European Networks and Relays such as the new Europe Direct network. New, structured, forms of cooperation among national authorities dealing with public communication should be initiated with a view to sharing experiences on communicating Europe and in order to develop joint initiatives. Finding modes of stronger cooperation is particularly important in the field of external relations. Communicating about the role of the EU in the world is an effective way to engage Europe's own citizens as well as to enhance support and understanding of the EU in the rest of the world. Several patterns for further cooperation in this field could be explored, including efforts to strengthen public diplomacy capacities. The EU institutions should pursue a more co-ordinated and citizens-oriented approach. In particular, the scope for co-operation between the Commission and the European Parliament could be broadened and current working arrangements under the Inter-institutional Group on Information (IGI) could be upgraded. This would include a review of current initiatives under the PRINCE budget lines[8]. The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions already encourage regional and local discussion of European issues, involving civil society. The recently adopted cooperation protocols between the Commission and these committees pave the way for greater joint efforts in this field. Political parties could involve their members more in European political issues and contribute to the debate through trans-national European think tanks. They should be encouraged to develop European components within their programmes. Civil society organisations have an important part to play in the European debate. Their role could be strengthened through targeted cooperation projects in the field of public communication. |


The European Union is a common project shared by all levels of government, all types of organisations and people from all walks of life. Citizens have a right to information about Europe and its concrete projects, a right to express their views about Europe and to be heard. This is the challenge of communication – to facilitate this exchange, the learning process, the dialogue.

For Europe to rise to the challenge, all the actors involved need to have an agreed set of objectives and a shared ‘toolbox’ of measures they can take. It means working together in innovative ways.

This White Paper outlines the challenge and identifies how it might be met. We now seek the views of the European Institutions, the Member States, local and regional governments, non-governmental organisations, stakeholders and the citizens of Europe on how best to connect and communicate.





Policy Area:


Associated activities:

16.03 – Analysis of public opinion trends and development of general information for citizens;

16.04 – Integrated management of means of communication;


3.1. Budget lines (operational lines and related technical and administrative assistance lines (ex-BA lines)) including headings:

16 03 01 – Public opinion analysis and proximity actions

16 03 02 – Actions in the field of communication

16 04 03 – Communication tools

3.2. Duration of the action and of the financial impact:

Publication of the White Paper on a European Communication Policy will launch a consultation process intended to last for six months, from February until June-July 2006. The financial impact of the White Paper is therefore confined to the measures needed to ensure that this consultation is properly carried out.

3.3. Budgetary characteristics:

Budget line | Type of expenditure | New | EFTA contribution | Contributions from applicant countries | Heading in financial perspective |

16 03 01 | NCE | NDA | NO | NO | NO | 3 |

16 03 02 | NCE | NDA | NO | NO | NO | 3 |

16 04 03 | NCE | NDA | NO | NO | NO | 3 |


4.1. Financial resources

4.1.1. Summary of commitment appropriations (CA) and payment appropriations (PA)

EUR million (to 3 decimal places)

Expenditure type | Section No | 2006 | Subsequent years | Total |

Operational expenditure |

Commitment appropriations (CA) | 8.1 | a | 0.875 | --- | 0.875 |

Payment appropriations (PA) | b | 0.875 | --- | 0.875 |


Commitment appropriations | a | 0.875 | --- | 0.875 |

Payment appropriations | b | 0.875 | --- | 0.875 |

Administrative expenditure not included in reference amount |

Human resources and associated expenditure (NDA) | 8.2.5 | d | 0.405 | --- | 0.405 |

Total indicative financial cost of action

TOTAL CA including cost of human resources | a+d | 1.280 | --- | 1.280 |

TOTAL PA including cost of Human Resources | b+d | 1.280 | --- | 1.280 |

4.1.2. Compatibility with Financial Programming

The financial impact of this proposal is confined to 2006. For this budget, the proposal is compatible with the existing financial programming.

Implementation of the planned actions will be covered by the redeployment of existing appropriations within budget heading 16.

4.2. Human Resources FTE (including officials, temporary and external staff) – see detail under point 8.2.1.

Annual requirements | 2006 |

Total | 5 |


The purpose of the White Paper on a European Communication Policy is to launch a wide-ranging consultation process on European communication policy in general and on the suggestions contained within the White Paper itself. At this stage, these suggestions are not actually operational proposals and are therefore not included in this financial statement.

The consultation process will last for six months, from February until June-July 2006.

It is only after the consultation process has ended that these suggestions may become the basis for formal Commission proposals, with the corresponding financial statements.

5.1. Action required

Two websites will be needed for this consultation process: one for consultation on the European Charter for Information and Communication and the other for consultation on the content of the White Paper as a whole.

A Task Force will have to be established by means of redeployment from within the Commission to monitor the consultation process and make use of the results.

Five specific conferences will also be held in Brussels with the partners concerned between February and June-July 2006 (if possible in cooperation with the other institutions).

A special series of Eurobarometer opinion surveys will be launched in spring 2006 to provide the best possible data for analysis.

5.2. Value-added of Community involvement and coherence of the proposal with other financial instruments and possible synergy

Based on the Commission’s institutional prerogatives, the aim of the White Paper is to improve the value-added of Community involvement in “Communicating Europe". As the European Council emphasised once again in its conclusions of June 2005, the responsibility for "Communicating Europe" is shared between the Community institutions, particularly the Commission, and the national, regional and local authorities in the Member States. The Commission's special role, as underlined by the European Council, is to develop a broad framework for action and coordinate the activities undertaken by all the partners .

5.3. Objectives, expected results and related indicators of the proposal in the context of the ABM framework

The ultimate aim of the White Paper is to implement specific proposals relating to the five areas for action identified. To achieve this, besides the two websites which will be set up and the use of the Eurobarometer surveys, the consultation process will be boosted by five conferences to be held in Brussels with all of the Commission’s institutional and non-institutional partners (civil society organisations) in the area of communication.

Possible indicators as to the success of the consultation process could be the participation rate of partners in these conferences and the number of contributions sent to the two websites.

At the end of this consultation process (July 2006), specific mixed working parties (Commission - Partners) will be set up for each area of action identified with a view to preparing to implement specific operational proposals.

5.4. Method of implementation

Centralised management, directly by the Commission


6.1. Monitoring system

After the consultation process, a monitoring system will be set up to establish to what extent the results of the consultation have enabled a consensus to be reached on implementing all the suggestions in the White Paper.

6.2. Evaluation

6.2.1. Ex-ante evaluation

It should be noted that in view of the nature of the proposal an impact assessment was drawn up. The actions provided for in the framework of the consultation process come under activities traditionally managed by DG PRESS.

6.2.2. Measures taken following an intermediate/ex-post evaluation

A report on the results of the consultation will be drawn up.

6.2.3. Terms and frequency of future evaluation

These will be applied to operational proposals which emerge from the consultation process and will depend on their number and nature.


Regarding the actions planned as part of the consultation process, the financial rules on budget implementation and more specifically on control measures will be applied.


8.1. Objectives of the proposal in terms of their financial cost

The costs in the table below represent the amounts needed to implement the actions described at 5.1 above.

Commitment appropriations in EUR million (to 3 decimal places)

Type of output | Av. cost | 2006 | TOTAL |

No. outputs | Total cost | No. outputs | Total cost |

- Conferences(16 03 02) | Conference organisation | 0.025 | 5 | 0.125 | 5 | 0.125 |

- Websites(16 04 03) | Development and management of websites | 0.075 | 2 | 0.150 | 2 | 0.150 |

TOTAL COST | 0.875 |

8.2. Administrative expenditure

8.2.1. Number and type of posts

The table below sets out the number of posts needed to set up a temporary Task Force to monitor the consultation process and to analyse the contributions made with a view to preparing specific operational proposals in the five areas of action identified. The Task Force will be made up of officials assigned to DG PRESS. Two of these posts will be filled by a redeployment exercise agreed by DG PRESS (over and above the posts already redeployed as part of the internal reorganisation and included in the new organisation chart). The other three posts will be obtained by drawing on the posts allocated to DG PRESS in the 2006 allocation of resources - which were earmarked for strengthening the Representations - and redeploying them for White Paper measures.

Types of post | Staff to be assigned to management of the action using existing resources (number of posts/FTEs) |

2006 |

Officials or temporary officials(16 01 01) | A*/AD | 5 |

TOTAL | 5 |

8.2.2. Description of tasks deriving from the action

The “A” officials mobilised within DG PRESS will be brought together in a Task Force whose role will be to manage the consultation process and the implementation of specific proposals which have emerged from the suggestions made in the framework of the White Paper.

8.2.3. Sources of human resources (statutory)

( Posts currently allocated to the management of the programme to be replaced or extended

( Posts pre-allocated within the APS/PDB exercise for year n

( Posts to be requested in the next APS/PDB procedure

X Posts to be redeployed using existing resources within the Commission – DG PRESS (2 posts) + redeployment of 3 posts from 2006 resources

( Posts required for year n although not foreseen in the APS/PDB exercise of the year in question.

8.2.4. Other administrative expenditure included in reference amount (XX 01 04/05 – Expenditure on administrative management)


8.2.5. Financial cost of human resources and related costs not included in the reference amount

EUR million (to 3 decimal places)

Type of human resources | 2006 |

Officials and temporary staff (16 01 01) | 0,405 |

Total cost of human resources and associated costs (NOT in reference amount) | 0,405 |

Calculation– Officials and temporary agents Taking account of the selection period, 5 officials from April until December 2006: 5 officials x EUR 108 000/year, for 9 months = EUR 405 000 |

8.2.6. Other administrative expenditure not included in reference amount

EUR million (to 3 decimal places)

2006 | TOTAL |

16 01 02 11 05 - Information systems | p.m. | p.m. |

2. Total other management expenditure (16 01 02 11) | p.m. | p.m. |

3. Other administrative expenditure |

Total administrative expenditure, other than human resources and associated costs (NOT included in reference amount) | p.m. | p.m. |

[1] Action Plan: SEC (2005) 985 final, 20 July 2005

[2] Plan D: COM (2005) 494 final, 13 October 2005

[3] In preparing this White Paper, the Commission took due account of the recommendations contained in the European Parliament Resolution on the Implementation of the European Union’s Information and Communication Strategy (Herrero Report, (2004/2238(INI)). It also received valuable input from several public events and individual contributions received by various experts and stakeholders. On 8 November 2005, the European Economic and Social Committee held a stakeholders’ forum on “Bridging the Gap” ( And, on 25 November, the Committee of the Regions held a plenary discussion on the key messages for the Commission White Paper. Detailed proposals and suggestions received during the preparatory phase will be also re-examined in the follow-up to the consultation process on this White Paper.

[4] Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states:

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers

(2) The freedom and the pluralism of the media shall be respected

[5] Action Plan: SEC (2005) 985 final, 20 July 2005

[6] European Transparency Initiative SEC (2005)1300/6 of 9 November 2005

[7] Possibly along the lines of the Irish National Forum on EU matters

[8] PRINCE was created in 1995 to regroup priority information topics financed under the EU Budget. In 2006, five themes are to be financed (“Economic and Monetary Union”, “the Future of the EU”, “Justice Liberty and Security”, “the role of the EU in the world”, and “Enlargement”).