Rebuilding citizens' trust in the European integration project and the EU institutions is high on the EU agenda, especially following the results of the European elections in May 2014 and the low turnout. A new institutional communication strategy will also be adopted for the new legislative period. The timely adoption of this opinion makes it possible for the CoR to influence the process of developing a new, multi-annual EU communication strategy and propose some concrete actions to be taken. The opinion received interest from institutional partners and it fits in well with the ongoing initiatives, such as Friends of Europe, New Narrative for Europe, etc.
The rapporteur discussed with representatives of the other institutions on political and administrative level. He met communication directors from the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Parliament to discuss the proposed joint Communication Plan which needs involvement of all institutions. He also held meetings with two vice-presidents of the European Parliament – Ms McGuinness and Ms Guillaume. Many stakeholders and communicators expressed their interest in the opinion and in discussing measures to be taken to bring Europe closer to the citizens and to enter into dialogue with them. The opinion received a lot of media attention, mainly in specialised EU and communication media, as well as in French media. The rapporteur also wrote an article for a French local newspaper (Ouest France) and gave an interview for France 2.
To see further and more tangible impact of the opinion, it is necessary to wait until the European institutions adopt their communication plans and decide on actions to be taken in 2015 and beyond and see in how far they correspond to the opinion's recommendations, in particular related to better coordination, decentralisation of communication budgets and giving citizens better opportunity to get involved in the EU policy-making. Meanwhile the CoR Communications Directorate explores the possibilities to get a higher involvement of CoR Members and other LRA representatives in the decentralised communication initiatives of the Commission (citizens' dialogues, strategic partnerships, online platforms, etc.).