EU ambassadors to inform the citizens about Europe

We all see that most of the European citizens do not see the benefits and the relevance of the European Union. For this reason I would like to start the idea to have 54 “ambassadors” 1 students and 1 employed from every member state. These EU Ambassadors would have the task to inform student (school and university students) and citizens for 1 year with a certain budget. (similar the National Youth Representative to the UN) . The ambassadors would be chosen on their basis of experience and social skills and would have the task to be full-ambassadors for 1 year to inform citizens in their respective home country about Europe and what Europe means for every citizen and what benefits Europe brings to all citizens.

The reason would be mainly that we all see a rising scepticism of many citizens towards the EU. In my opinion this is mainly due to the lack of information and due to the lack of transparency between the EU institutions and the citizens. The treaty changes have not been able to improve this gap and have failed to create a European “demos”/ a common identity.

Thus we have to go out there and inform people about their benefits they gained from the European Union and by making them understand why this Union is benefitial also in times of crisis and also in the future.

Skepticism, transparency

Hi Constanze, glad tha Marco is fine btw. Thanks for sharing your reflections…

I wonder whether more information is equivalent to more transparency? And whether more transparency means more of a shared identity or demos? What do you think…?

Youth Diplomacy

Hi Constanze!

glad to have finally found your post :slight_smile: Veru interesting btw.

Still I have some questions/clarifications to make.

You started witht th argument that the citiyens of the EU memebr states are becoeming more and more skeptical and even critical about this supra-national instittution.  Rather that having a debate here about the pro and cons of the EU, I think it is fair to acknowledge that it has some deep structual and functional flaws and that perhaps some of the criticism and grievances are indeed justified and should be voiced out and listened to in a open and democratic manner.

Now about the EU Ambassadors initiative.

I personally don’t feel that my views and opinions are represented by either the Moldovan or Romanian UN Youth Representative (even though I know one of them personally). I think it’s a nice opportunity for them as envoys to learn and expand their network, but not necessarily about the youth in their countries. A lot of young people even the ones passionate about politics and IR are not aware of this position. Often the selction is not really transparent either. There is virtually no communication and interaction between them. Maybe you know a more optimistic story from your country. Also it is very hard for a single person to astablish some kind of connection directly wit hte citizenry. Some international organizations have whole divisions designed for this task and they still don’t manage to do it well.

How about the Ombudsman? Isn’t he a sort of ‘less formal diplomat’, ‘a people’s advocate’?

Why 54 people (2 people x 27 MS)? How about the candidate countries? How about the neigbouring countries that are trying to meet Eu standards for accession?

Back to skepticism.

Even I, that have studies International Relations and European Studies for my Bachelor, am VERY critical about the EU. If one desires to get informed about the European intitutions there are tons of ‘propaganda’ material to be easily found on the internet and even in the public libraries, etc.

I think that a big part of the disapointment with the EU come from direct negative experiences related to it. Be it accessing strucutral funds, or change in policies, or changes directly conncted wit hthe change of currency (national to Euro), democartic and transparency deficit, etc, etc.

I think what we nned more thse days is open public discussions on these issues. What we need are Mediators between EU and the citizens.

Hope this helps.

I would also like to hear you position on why and how do you think the  EU is beneficial in the current crisis and what are the presume future benefits?

Cheers :wink:

Halfway through…

[written from Polish perspective]

If you read Machiavelli’s Il Principe, you will see that the EU is in the position of a prince who, however being the sovereign, rules through a pyramid of semi-independent aristocrats and officials. Thus, citizens are more familiar with (and related to) them, than with a distant and somehow virtual ruler. Furthermore, local governors (national governments) tend to use EU as an excuse or a scapegoat in ther internal PR, blaming it for most unpopular decisions. The overall rhetoric is “We have to do that, because EU requires it” and “We managed to get that from the EU for your benefit”.

The flaw is that there is no positive program, no overwhelming European idea to gather people around. It’s just Euro, windfarms, Frontex and pensions. No wonder, that the ‘war with terrorism’ and European security is gaining as a leitmotiv - if you do not have anything positive, the only way to unite people is to show them a common threat.

The optimal model for the EU seems to be a super-state, replacing national states and dealing directly with regions and other traditionally defined communities. Unfortunately, EU failed to achieve that before 2008 and since then, the collapse of turbocharged capitalism stopped the whole process. Now we see first signs od shrinking of the European social space: increased spendings on security (Frontex again), decreased funds for integration programs (Erasmus), Greexit being openly discussed…

Neither EU ambassadors, nor omnipresent billboards, saying “this 100 m of the 3rd class road was funded by the EU” will make people feel the EU is their benefactor - unless they feel it themselves. And it is not the matter of money. If you talk about demos, you talk about pride, loyalty, identity - none of those can be bought with euro or provided by Europol or Frontex.

Fellow Eurocrats, read Machavelli again.