A few weeks ago Spiegel Online published an interview with the Swedish Commissioner, (English version 19/01/2007)
Wallström: …If you want a more democratic EU, communication has to be among its core tasks. There should be a legal foundation for it: Fifty years after the founding of the European project, communication belongs in the constitution.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why?
Wallström: The EU lacks a story. For previous generations, the peace argument was a sufficient. But what story do I tell my 20-year-old son? How do I explain to him that we need the EU for the future?
Now, have a look at the Website of Margot Wallström.
(26/01/2007) "Wir haben eine Story für die Zukunft" (We have a story for the future), Interview with EU-Nachrichten, issue 18/2007
Was betrachten Sie als die wichtigste Errungenschaft der EU in den 50 Jahren ihres Bestehens?
Der Frieden – das ist immer noch das wichtigste. Das ist es, was wir alle auch für die Zukunft wollen in Europa, zumal die jungen Leute, für die Krieg etwas Undenkbares ist.
What do you consider as the most important benefit of the EU in its 50 years of existance?
Peace - that is always most important. That is also, what we all wish for our European future, esp. for young people, for whom war is unthinkable.
The EU needs a story, there are many insightful stories about the EU that must be told. Fifty years after the founding of the European project, real parliamentarian democracy belongs in the constitution. In a democracy policy fields are no matter of constitutional order but an expression of democratic majority preferences. Electronic media is an excellent tool for better communication as the Swedish Commissioner who also features a so-called Blog knows. The Internet is a public intelligence tool which makes it pretty hard for politicians to talk garbage.
For me time is a scare ressource. I prefer to spent it on listening to persons who have something to say, who have to tell me their story. Interesting EU stories are not rare. We talk a lot. Talk a lot about the EU. Yet, official communication policy often recurses to plain propaganda. Propaganda annoys us. Propaganda is useless communication for us. Our ambitious Commissioner disregards that we live Europe and we want pragmatic reforms for getting a better European Union, political balance, pragmatism, pluralism.
The real task is not to define what the EU did for us, but what we can achieve with the EU, and how we can raise our different opinions within that framework and how institutions can better approximate our will. Some important reforms ahead. Electronic media, access to knowledge, constitutional order and democratic reforms play a key role in this matter.