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October 11, 2006
EU to launch 7 million Euro anniversary PR campaign
Austrian daily Die Presse reports that the EU intends to use its upcoming 50th anniversary next year to win back the hearts of the European citizens, with more than 7 million Euro being earmarked for an ambitious PR campaign.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that it had seen a memo by EU Communications Commissioner Margot Wallstrom showing that the European Commission wants to link the Eurovision song contest to the anniversary. Viewers would be told about "the need of close co-operation in our common project", "solidarity" and "the benefits that European integration has brought to its citizens". "A well-designed project will be transmitted by TV channels, ensuring impact and visibility," wrote Wallstrom. "The involvement of possibly linkages with the Eurovision contest could be seriously considered in this respect." Some of the new member states, however, are not keen. An unnamed Czech government source said, "For most of the new members, this plan brought back memories of Communist times.
Sources: Open Europe Press Summary - Die Presse: Warum Beamte Semmeln backen - Sunday Telegraph: Brussels wants Eurovision for EU propaganda