Communicating EP

About 6 months ago I finished an internship in the DG COMM department of the European Parliament. This opportunity is offered in many Parliament divisions and provides young graduates (or almost graduates) an opportunity to discover working atmosphere inside of the EU representative body and is regularly advertised on the EP web site. If you have the right specifications and apply at the right time and moment (luck is as usually one of the key factors for getting a post), you might have a possibility to discover the EP environment from the inside


And so, I did. I got a post in DG COMM which is a bit dislocated from the main EP buildings, but definitely an interesting spot. The department is responsible for communication of the Parliament by using different strategies inside of: drafting and dissemination, web publishing and press unit. Despite of the fact that division uses different approaches for communicating EP, one of the main criticisms that are heard not only from “outside”, but also on the EP corridors concerns its effects on broader public. From my personal observation, I can claim that the service mostly gathers very devoted and skilled communicators.


The day-to-day inside DGCOMM includes struggling with often boring and unreadable reports as you can check here.1 On the other hand, press officers who cover different topics and committees have to understand in detail and provide information on all sorts of issues, as fast as possible. This busy machine speeds up even more during the parliamentary sessions when almost the whole department moves to their second home in Strasbourg.


                                 (Europe in front of EP in Strasbourg, personal archive)  


So where is the problem? I think that the obstacle is not only in the delivering of information as such; there are also other barriers which should be taken into consideration. One of them is the political nature of the Parliament, which is not the only decision maker inside of the EU. Its role is more or less pretty limited and dependant on a marriage between the Council of the EU. On the other hand, even if a certain decision is decided by parliamentarians, it takes ages before it comes into effect on a national level.


I would also dare to say that the institution communicates quite intensively with national media. The last can be updated by daily news for which national press officers inside of the department are responsible for. The national media is also frequently invited to different events, seminars and conferences. Despite all that, it seems that connection does not work properly.


I definitely cannot read much about the EU in Slovenian media, but I can always check the Hollywood gossip and last night’s crimes. And I heard that these are the news that sells…





[1] I propose another competition category for EJC: drafting readable and reader-friendly press release from the mentioned report.

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7 Responses to “Communicating EP”

  1. adaniel says:

    I think it would be a nice blog idea to take very boring DG COMM leaflets and to put them into a straightforward and interesting blog post to show the contrast.

  2. Tanja says:

    :D not a bad idea at all

  3. Tanja, great to hear that I am not the only EP stagiare here! :)

  4. Tanja says:

    Hey, Anita! Are you also in dg comm? cool! Maybe you can continue with some of your observations…maybe stg about small countries and internships in the EP ;))

  5. Nikola RICHTER Nikola says:

    Hey Tanja, I’d definitely be interested in reading readable versions of DG Comm reports. Great idea!

  6. make the day says:

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