The priorities of the European Affairs Communications Department are placed in an annual report to be reviewed and approved by the Committee for the EU on an annual basis.
The Committee for the EU adopted the European Affairs Communication Strategy on November 24, 2015. It provided a comprehensive framework for the Czech government’s communication activities in the field of European affairs. Its’ aims were to familiarize Czech citizens with the functioning of the EU, as well as the role of the Czech Republic within it, and to lead the debate on Czech-European policy.
The strategy designated that the long-term goals of public communication about European affairs will be monitored and evaluated on the basis of criterion set for each communication priority once a year, and will be a part of the annual update of this strategy. Essentially, the following criteria, as appropriate, will be used:
Concurrently, the strategy stipulated that specific communication priorities would be chosen each year based on the Czech Strategy in the EU. The strategy will, on an annual basis, take into account the current development of European integration, the situation in the Czech Republic, and possible communication priorities set at the European level. Part of this update will also be an evaluation of the strategy fulfilment in the past year and an analysis of the current public attitude towards the European Union.
Each year, the long-term goals of the department’s communication are evaluated under three spheres of criteria, for instance the attitude of the Czech Republic towards the EU, measured through sociological surveys. For each year, the priorities for communication are chosen considering the Czech Republic’s European policies, as well as the activities and priorities of Europe as a whole. The document focuses on four important aspects; why there is an update for the communication strategy, how the Department operated in 2021, how the priorities of 2021 were communicated, and what the focus will be in 2022.
Before discussing the specific communication priorities for the ongoing year, the document outlines trends in the public’s perception of the EU in 2021 and evaluates how information and priorities were communicated that year. Based on the data gathered from the Pan-European Eurobarometer survey, 49% of Czech respondents were confident of the EU and 67% expressed the sentiment of feeling like EU citizens, both of which represented an increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, 48% of Czech citizens are satisfied with the EU membership of the Czech Republic and their priorities, finding migration, public finances of member states, and economic affairs as the EU’s top three issues.
In 2021 the Department hosted a total of 761 events that reached 173,899 people through a network of regional Eurocenters. In fact, in 2021 the Eurocenters´ network was significantly strengthened through the additional operation of four EUROPE DIRECT regional centers across the country. Furthermore, the Euroskop social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube experienced increases in followers and subscribers. Reflecting on the involvement in 2021, the Department intends to use the experiences of the past year in the future activities of the Department, with a special focus on the communication of the upcoming Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Considering 2022 is a very important year for the Czech Republic’s involvement in European affairs, with the Country holding the Council of ministers presidency in the second semester of this year, the communication priorities deal closely with strengthening Czech involvement in Europe and the economic development of security, sustainability, and European funds. While one of the most pressing issues in Europe at the moment is the threat of aggression by Russia, the communication of internal and external security is of importance, along with the creation of the Strategic Compass to further strengthen and develop the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy. The communication department also plans to promote digital and green transition processes to further economic and climate goals, as well as to communicate on the digital rights of consumers and the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework for economic and social growth. Lastly, the Conference of the Future of Europe in the context of the European Year of Youth, and in light of the Czech Presidency in the Council will be communicated. The Department plans to organize the highest number of events in 2022 concentrating on the public’s awareness of the Czech’s role under the EU Presidency.
To review the full English report, please see the European Affairs Communication Strategy 2022.