EUROSCI Centre of Excellence in EU Strategic Communications - Інститут досліджень пропаганди
Strategic communication, i.e. offering information in order to influence the behaviour of a target audience, is of vital importance for the European Union. The French presidential election or the Brexit referendum campaigns are key examples in which information activities have focused on issues that are crucial for the future of Europe. But one does not have to wait until big electoral events to see strategic communication in action. Every day, a myriad of lobbyists offer information to legislators and executive officials in the EU in order to influence their policies, from car emmission standards to agricultural subsidies. And those who try to influence EU policy are not only domestic actors, but often involve foreign multinationals and goverments that engage in lobbying, diplomacy and propaganda activities, from Google or Apple to ISIL or the Russian government. Finally, the EU also has its own information policies to influence the behaviour of its own target audiences through information activities, and these target audiences are not only domestic but, increasingly, foreign, from information and dissemination activities within the Erasmus+ programme to the creation of a Strategic Communications Division that works closely with the European External Action Service.
This centre is based on three premises. First, as much as private interests engage in information activities in order to try influence EU policy, the EU also needs and co-ordinates its own information campaigns in order to ensure the success of its policies. Second, strategic communication is not only limited to domestic actors and target audiences, and the same principles that apply to domestic strategic communications also help us understand international information activities such as diplomacy or propaganda by foreign actors targeted at EU audiences, and vice versa. Finally, EU strategic communication should be understood like marketing strategy, in the sense that it is not limited to selling a particular EU policy, but also determining which kind of policy should be produced to satisfy the needs of our target. Thus understood, the scope of this chair becomes much broader and interdisciplinary, and with greater relevance for the future of EU democracy.