Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The EU Spin machine

I have gone on about this time and time again, but it bears repeating, as Justin Stares has done effectuively in Public Service Europe today.

The EU is beefing up its propaganda spending at a worrying rate. Here is Justin,
Austerity might be on the menu in most capitals of the European Union, but in Brussels the institutions are still hiring. Ever conscious of the need to battle Euro-scepticism and sharpen up its image, the EU has started recruiting around 65 spin doctors or "communications specialists".

Those boasting the appropriate language skills, a background as a journalist, press officer or communications consultant and a willingness to persevere with a tiresome battery of verbal, numeric and abstract reasoning tests - can look forward to a starting salary of €4,267 a month plus perks. Competition is expected to be fierce.
He highlights the information inbalance in Brussels. Between those who sell the message, and those who are supposed to question it.
Around 920 officials work for the commission's Directorate-General for Communication alone - handling the press, writing brochures and updating websites. Another 700, including support staff, are employed by the equivalent department in the parliament - while the council, the most secretive EU institution, gets by with just 200.

By comparison, there were around 1,000 accredited journalists in Brussels at the last count. EU spin-doctors may be multiplying like mushrooms, but hacks are beating a retreat. The UK permanent representation to the EU used to deal with what the press office called a "hard core" of around 60 Brussels-based British journalists. Today there are about 12.
It is amazing really when you think about it that any negative copy about Brussles exists at all. I guess the truth will out no matter how many millions you spend trying to divert attention.


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Anonymous said...

There's a free book to counter the EU's spin and Lord (Malcolm) Pearson writes in its foreword:

“I defy anyone to read this book and remain an enthusiastic and untroubled europhile… Few other documents have done a better job of marshalling all the arguments – political, social, legal, cultural, constitutional, financial and economic – against our continued membership of the European Union in such an accessible and entertaining manner.”

Marta Andreasen MEP described the book as “amazingly well-researched, the type of book that eurorealists need at their fingertips”.

Here's the link: (4mb)

Every time you click on or forward that link, Mr Barroso's day gets worse.