Voices from the Regions: Rethinking the communication of Cohesion policy

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Brussels, Belgium
The final conference will present the key results from COHESIFY, an innovative Horizon 2020 funded research project exploring EU Cohesion policy implementation, communication and impacts on citizens’ attitudes to the EU in 17 regions across 12 Member States. In a post-crisis era context where EU institutions have pledged to reconnect with citizens, the three critical questions addressed in the conference are:

1. What do citizens think of Cohesion policy?
We will present the results of 50 focus groups with more than 250 citizens in the 17 regions about citizens’ perceptions of Cohesion policy, its impact and attitudes to the EU. The findings will be complemented by the results of an original, large-scale survey of 8,500 citizens in the same 17 regions addressing similar questions.

2. Does the news and social media represent Cohesion policy positively or negatively?
We will present the findings of the first cross-national analysis of Cohesion policy news media frames and social media, employing cutting-edge ‘big data’ techniques from computer science. This includes the analysis of a random stratified sample of 280-300 news articles relating to Cohesion policy in each of the 12 Member States. On social media, we analysed more than 3,700 posts and 19,500 tweets from Facebook and Twitter respectively as well as comments and reactions (63,000 for Facebook and 52,000 for Twitter).

3. How to reconnect with citizens through Cohesion policy?
Finally, the key policy implications of case studies on Cohesion policy implementation and communication – based on desk research, interviews and surveys of policy-makers and stakeholders in the 17 regions – will be presented.

Registration Information : bit.ly/2Dl8tFO

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