The overall background to this paper is based on two main areas. On one hand it deals with the recent empirical and theoretical works which have focused their attention on the development of the European public sphere. On the other hand attention has to be given to the most recent institutional developments which the European Union is facing, particularly with regard to the production of a media policy subsequent to the publication of a Plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate in 2005 and of the White Paper on Communication Policy in 2006. Between 2005 and 2009 the European Commission has in fact initiated an impressive series of concrete measures, targeting journalists and civil society. Codes of conduct, guidelines, training courses for journalists and workshops for civil society actors have been organised in order to enhance dialogic interactions and to put Europe on the public agenda. Furthermore, the improvement of the europa.eu web site and the interactive structures that were set up (for example thematic blogs and fora or the Your-Voice in Europe portal) aimed to give people a say on political matters concerning the EU, and was an attempt to develop a strategic and comprehensive approach to public communication.
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