“INFORMATION FOR INTEGRATION” – MEI COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN IN 2005
In the Beginning there Was Research
To identify the information needs, before conceiving the communication strategy, a qualitative research was conducted, through focus-groups that determined the information needs and the expectancies of the target-groups: pupils and teachers in the rural area, students, SME managers, women in the urban area. Together with them, the research also identified the style, message and content of the informative packages and the information channels to be used for each group. The result of this research was the basis of choosing the target-groups and the communication projects carried on in 2005.
Teachers in the Rural Area:
“Europe at School”
The purpose of the “Europe at School” programme was to raise the informational level of the teachers with regard to the European themes. The programme took place between April and November 2005 and consisted in:
Organizing information seminars for pre-university teachers from 10 counties, with 350 participants – methodologist teachers and inspectors in the socio-human, counseling and primary school fields. The seminars were organized in Brasov, Cluj, Timisoara, Craiova, Branesti (Ilfov county), Constanta, Iasi, Galati and Târgoviste.
The seminars aimed at – and to a great extent succeeded in – stimulating the debate on European integration and training teachers in the field of European integration. Thus, they can act as multipliers of European information among both the pupils and their families.
“Together for a Young Europe”
The “Together for a Young Europe” programme aimed at informing students on their opportunities of education, access and mobility in the EU, as well as to the EU institutions and policies, through a series of meetings held in important university centers. Booklets were issued for this: “Romanian Citizen, European Citizen”, “The ABC’s of the European Student”, “How Will We Study, Work and Travel in the EU after Accession?” and 7 meetings with students were organized between April and November 2005, in Cluj-Napoca, Bucharest, Timisoara, Brasov, Jassy, Galati and Targu-Mures.
“Europe, My Love, I Know You and I Win”
The interactive competition-show “Europe, My Love, I Know You and I Win” was organized in partnership with Radio Romania Actualitati and the University of Bucharest. The 4 editions of the competition took place on the stage of the “Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation” concert hall. Its aim was to stimulate the students’ interest for Europe’s legislation, history and culture. During the event, the competitors were awarded for their competitional courage, general education acquired, the level of their knowledge of European values.
“European Integration and Business Environment”
Through this programme, MEI intended to inform companies about the new regulations in the economic sphere, resulted from the negotiations between the Government of Romania and the European Commission, about the general implications of integration upon the business environment, about the characteristics of the common market and the financing opportunities after EU accession, to support them in coping with the competitional pressure in the single market. Done in partnership with The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, the campaign consisted of 10 thematic workshops: “Competition and State Aid”, “Environmental Protection”, “Free Circulation of Goods”, “Food Safety”, “Financial Services”, “Standardization”, “Structural and Cohesion Funds”, “Transports”, “Energy” and 2 round tables with producers in the textile and garments industry and producers and processors in the food industry. The workshops took place in Bucharest, Zalau and Baia Mare and enjoyed the presence of over 1600 participants.
Active Women in the Urban Environment
“Europe Is Important for You!”
The information campaign to promote equality of chances aimed at ensuring the information needs of active women in the urban environment. From May to November 2005, 17 workshops-debates on the equality of chances were organized in Bucharest, Brasov, Buzau, Braila, Vaslui, Miercurea Ciuc, Bistrita, Baia Mare, Zalau, Resita, Deva, Târgu-Jiu, Pitesti, Alexandria, Calarasi, Giurgiu and Tulcea. The information referred to the European and Romanian institutions and policies in the field of equality of chances, and general information on the European Union and accession. The about 1000 participants received 1200 informative materials – Guidelines of equality of chances. The debates were reflected in over 50 publications in the central and local press.
Entrepreneurs in the rural area
In May, at Izvorul Muresului and Capusul Mare, Cluj county there were 2 meetings with local leaders: mayors, deputy mayors, town secretaries, counsellors, school principals, agronomists, veterinarians, entrepreneurs. The meetings were assisted by ANCA and SAPARD experts and provided information on “The Results of Negotiations of the Chapter on Agriculture”, “Reforms in Agriculture”, “Phyto-Sanitary-Veterinarian Regulations”, “Romania’s Regional Development Policy”, “Regional Development Plan”, “Financing Programmes for Agriculture and Regional Development”, “European Policies in Agriculture”.
Public administration, integration counsellors, European integration specialists
Stage 1. Conception, publishing and distribution of “European Counsellor. Information Review of the Integration Counsellors Body”. The review aims at a correct and professional information, with regard to the European integration of the institutions and persons that can act as multipliers in various fields of activity.
Stage 2. Between 13 and 14 December the First Annual Conference of the Integration Counsellors took place, gathering 350 participants.
The relations with the press had in view to transmit information on the accession process to the local and central press, through press conferences, press releases and information, information material, a special section on the MEI site which contains the archive of the press releases and the photo archive (www.mie.ro), the monitorization of the information published in the press, of the themes submitted to public debate and of the public appearances (quantitative and qualitative analysis), setting up partnerships with press institutions in order to support the information campaigns addressed to various audiences.
The MEI Information Point
Inaugurated in October 2003, The Information Point distributes information and materials (informative guides, brochures, leaflets, reports, studies) made by the MEI, IER (European Institute of Romania) and other institutions about the European programmes and the accession process, answers requests for information addressed in compliance with Laws nos. 544/2001 and 52/2003 and offers free access to Romanian and European sites, dedicated to the European problems. In 2005, about 2076 solicitants asked the Information Point for general information on the European Union (60%), programmes and financing opportunities (27%), regional development (5%), negotiations (5%), acquis – legislative harmonization (3%). The visitors come from the University environment (65%), public institutions (20%), juridical persons (SMEs, NGOs) and natural persons (15%).
An information programme carried out by MEI since April 2004, in partnership with TVR (the Romanian TV). By calling toll-free 080 080 2007, citizens ask questions and receive answers directly from specialists from the institutions involved in the accession process.
The answers are broadcast on the TVR channels. From April 2004 to December 2006, over 60000 calls were registered. Monthly, 40 answers to questions selected by the project team are broadcast.
MEI’s web-site – built in 2002 through a Phare programme, contains daily updated information about the evolution of Romania’s accession process and the situation of the allocation of Phare CES and Phare Cross-border Cooperation funds. The information is available in English and French too. By December 2005, the site had been visited by 990 000 visitors – large public, press, representatives of the business environment looking for financing opportunities, the central or local administration personnel.
Electronic information bulletin “European News”
The MEI bulletin “European News” contains news about the activities of the Ministry (dignitaries’ agenda, communication campaigns), financing sources and European affairs and it is distributed weekly to over 500 subscribers – journalists of the central and local press, specialists of the central and local administration (prefectures, city halls, county councils), multipliers of European information (Regional Development Agencies, Euro - Info Centers), embassies and missions of Romania abroad, private persons.
Special events organized:
17 March 2005 – Spring Day in Europe
24-25 April 2005 – Celebration of the Signature of the Accession Treaty
9 May 2005 – Europe Day – MEI Open Doors Day
April-June 2005 – “Europe, My Love. I Know You and I Win” - 4 competition-shows organized by Radio Romania Actualitati in cooperation with MEI
1 December, Bucharest, University Square - Celebration of Romania’s National Day
13-14 December, Bucharest, Palace of Parliament - First Annual Conference of European Integration Counsellors
“Guidelines of Equality of Chances“
“Travel to the European Union” – second edition
“Romanian Citizen, European Citizen”
“The ABC’s of the European Student”
“How Will We Study, Work and Travel in the EU after Accession?”
”European Counsellor” No. 2 /2005
“Parents’ Guide to the Children’s World”
In 2005 over 23 000 copies of MEI publications were distributed through the Information Point and within the projects and organized events.