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Session Title

EU and Ourselves

European information: current issues and trends

Ian Thomson, Bell & Howell Information and Learning; United Kingdom

  • Introduction
  • The information and communication policy of the European Union: the context
    • the ‘duty’of the EU to inform (and to ‘listen’) – the ‘right’ of the citizen to know – openness and transparency
    • new forms of decisions making (‘governance’) at a European level required
    • increasing need for EU information from individuals and organisations in the Member States, applicants countries and elsewhere

- Europe is more than the EU

  • EU Information and Communication Policy today: what are the key concepts?
  • Decentralisation: EU should share responsibility with other ‘stakeholders’: public and commercial
  • Interactive communication to improve European governance: ‘spontaneous’ and ‘structured’ two-way communication with representative organisations – Greater communication and consultation: conferences, hearings, ‘chats’ etc
  • Interinstitutional co-operation: how far should it go?
  • Externalisation: use external agencies to manage day-to-day information operations
  • Emphasis on electronic dissemination
  • Enlargement strategy
  • EU Information and Communication Policy: current developments

    - White Paper on Information and Communication, 2001

  • Re-organisation in the European Commission: key departments responsible for information:
    • Press and Communication Service
    • Secretariat General
    • DG Enterprise

- Access to documents: Regulation on access to documents

  • EU information on the internet (EUROPA)
    • new-style ‘portals’: bringing together information on related subjects

      EUR-LEX – The EU in the World – RTD 2002 – Futurum – Treaty of Nice - Closure of SCAD : Expansion of ECLAS

- electronic archiving

  • European information on the internet: ‘free’ or ‘to pay’
  • EU & stakeholders put primary data on internet : a new way of communicating
  • challenge of searching for information on the internet
  • the role of the commercial sector : competing models: free access to user v subscription

The author is the President of the European Information Association and the author and executive publisher of the KnowEurope online service


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