Information Measures Relating to Cohesion Fund Activities
The “InformationMeasures Concerning the Activities of the Cohesion Fund” regulation [(EC) 621/2004] was adopted by the Commission on 1st April 2004. It replaces the decision 955/1996, which it condenses and greatly simplifies, thus making the information measures requested easier to achieve.
Eur-Lex legislation : Year 2004 - Number 621
The regulation specifies first of all the content of messages to be transmitted, which covers two aspects:
- Each project supported by the Cohesion Fund should contribute to the reduction of social and economic disparities between European Union citizens;
- Each project is achieved owing to the financial contribution from the Cohesion Fund.
These messages have to apply to all the information tools and actions, which simplifies the communicators’ task. Furthermore, repeating the messages increases the chances that they will be remembered by their public at which they are directed.
The first message is a reminder of the project’s European objective, beyond its specific purpose relating to its immediate usefulness, e.g.: for a road: to travel more easily from A to B).
It is a reminder that the EU promotes equal opportunities among its citizens and access to the same living standards. The reference to citizens is important as it enables them to feel directly involved by the EU’s action.
The messages can be expressed in terms other than those in the regulation, as long as the basic ideas remain the same. Communicators can thus use a creative language which is close to the citizen; they can use simple, catchy expressions.
The EU flag serves as an “illustration” of two notions, without which it would only express a vague idea of the EU’s presence.
Communication tools and actions
In terms of communication tools and actions, the new text only imposes what is coherent with the twofold objective of visibility and renown, i.e. information for the media, panels and commemorative plaques.
Emphasis is placed on direct contact with the media at meetings, so that a truly interactive dialogue is established between the communicators. For projects whose global cost (national funding + cohesion fund) of less than 50 million euros, these meetings are optional.
As the media are also avid to acquire written information, the project’s managing authority is obliged to prepare project documentation, (or arrange for its preparation, e.g. by the sponsor). As journalists are not supposed to be specialists in the field, clear, concise information could be very useful for them. It enables them to save time and is more easily transformed into an article or report.
Plaques only replace panels if the infrastructures are accessible to the general public.
The regulation is open to any other initiative which can strengthen the impact of obligatory information tools and actions. In terms of increasing the visibility of projects and the renown of citizens’ equal opportunities, this text recommends placing posters in highly visible locations. It also provides a reminder of other possible tools, such as paper and electronic publications, videos and Web pages.
The Chairman of the Project Monitoring Committees should provide committee members with copies or photos of tools or actions conducted in the past.