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Peter Brennan

Talk2EU, managed by the Commission's Representation in Ireland, is the largest single nationwide EU communications project supported by the European Commission in recent times. While this year-long initiative ends in May 2010, key research findings are emerging. The paper will cover the modus operandi of the project, and will provide key indicators and feedback in relation to the core elements of the Talk2EU campaign, which include: organising over 40 events targeted at community groups and partner organisations; a supporting PR/media strategy; a significant web presence; social networking promotions; cinema advertising; a schools essay competition; research into the benefits of EU membership; and an online facility to answer citizens' questions. The priorities set for the campaign were informed by Eurobarometer and other research findings in relation to the awareness of Irish citizens as regardsthe EU (and the Lisbon Treaty). A particular effort was made therefore to communicate with cohorts who were ambivalent to the EU or generally disinterested in EU issues. The paper will outline the provisional conclusions which could be drawn from what is well-resourced campaign. These findings, in particular in the post-Lisbon period, could inform the conduct of similar initiatives in other Member State. The author is an active member of the Talk2EU Project Board.

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