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80 experts discussed the role of media in regard to the participation of EU citizens in European debates.
Throughout Europe, EU citizens are not regarded as strong supporters of European institutions. In academic and in political discussions it is argued that there is a lack of interest in European affairs, a lack of knowledge about the European Union and a very low level of participation in debates on European issues and in European elections. How could this lack of interest be turned around? How could the mass media and political institutions motivate the citizens of Europe to intensify their involvement in public discussions on European issues?
The main focus of the experts’ conference was to find out which requirements must be met in order to be able to stimulate interest in issues concerning Europe as a whole, and foster participation in public debates on those issues by the European citizenry.
What role do the media play in (de-)activating citizens’ interest in European issues, and is there anything they can do to encourage citizens to take action? Which formats are best suited to these goals? Is it possible to foster increased participation of EU citizens in discussions on European issues by means of the formats that now exist for the public expression of political opinions, or must new formats be developed?