The Commission White Paper on communication. Mapping a way to a European public sphere (2006)


In its recent White Paper on a European Communication Policy, the European Commission has promised a “fundamentally new approach”. The policy is meant to narrow the communication gap looming between the European Union and its citizens and ultimately to map a way towards the development of a European public sphere. In contrast to the so called ‘Action Plan’ for improving the Commission’s own communication from July 2005, the White Paper is addressed to the EU as a whole, including other central institutions, member states, European political parties and even ‘civil society’. The purpose of this Policy Brief is to critically evaluate the proposals emanating from the White Paper and to advance several suggestions aimed at helping the current initiative to have a more tangible and long-term effect than its many predecessors, authored by Messrs Tindemans, Adonnino, Oostlander, DeClerq, Pex or Pinheiro.

Kurpas, Sebastian; Brüggemann, Michael; Meyer, Christoph (2006): The Commission White Paper on Communication. Mapping a Way to a European Public Sphere. Brussels (CEPS Policy Brief 101 / May 2006). Available online at

Kein Experte ist wie der andere. Vom Umgang mit Missionaren und Geschichtenerzählern (2006)


Der vorliegende Text leistet einen Beitrag zur Weiterentwicklung des Experteninterviews als Erhebungsinstrument in den Sozialwissenschaften. Im Mittelpunkt steht das Interviewverhalten der Befragten – ein Aspekt, der in der bisherigen Literatur zum Experteninterview zu wenig Beachtung gefunden hat. Die Rolle, die der Experte im Interview einnimmt, so unsere These, ist dabei letztlich mitentscheidend für den Erfolg und die weitere Verwertbarkeit der durch ein Interview gesammelten Antworten. Neben Faktoren wie der allgemeinen Vorbereitung, der Ausarbeitung der Fragen und der Auswertungsmethode wird damit die Gesprächsführung zur entscheidenden Determinante der Qualität eines Experteninterviews. Der Beitrag entwickelt eine Typologie unterschiedlicher
Interviewpartner und stellt deren jeweilige Besonderheiten dar. Experten lassen sich nach ihrem Kommunikationsstil (detailverliebt, anekdotenhaft, abstrahierend, ausweichend, contra-faktisch) und nach ihrer Intention, an einem Interview teilzunehmen (Informationsweitergabe, Persuasion), unterscheiden. Entlang dieser beiden Dimensionen lassen sich zehn Typen von Experten unterscheiden. Eine solche Typologie hilft, Herausforderungen an eine Interviewsituation (Zeitmanagement, Faktensammlung, Ermittlung von Meinungen) frühzeitig zu erkennen und Interviewstrategien (aktives Zeitmanagement, Konkretisierung, Konfrontation, Bekenntnisstrategie, Versachlichungsstrategie) zu entwickeln, um möglichen problematischen Verhaltensmustern, die solche Experten zeigen, entgegenzuwirken.

Martens, Kerstin; Brüggemann, Michael (2006): Kein Experte ist wie der andere. Vom Umgang mit Missionaren und Geschichtenerzählern. Bremen (TranState Working Paper, 39). Available online at

Informing European citizens? Evaluating the activities of the European Commission in the field of Information (2006)


This cost-benefit study assesses the different programmes and actions in the area of information carried out by the European Commission and financed by the Community budget over the period 2000-05. Using the criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and utility (as set out in the terms of reference provided by the European Parliament), the study shows that the overall assessment in terms of ‘value for money’ is positive. However, there is still room for improvement concerning all the actions. The study covers the following aspects: 1) The audiovisual sector, including co-productions (APCAV), the Commission’s Audiovisual Service (EbS and the running of studios) and contracts with Euronews, 2) the EUROPA website, 3) written publications, 4) the Europe Direct call centre, 5) Eurobarometer and 6) information outlets.

Kurpas, Sebastian; Clerck-Sachsse, Julia de; Brüggemann, Michael (2006): Informing European Citizens? Evaluating the Activities of the European Commission in the field of Information (Study commissioned by the European Parliament Budget Committee, 31 August 2006). Available online at

Towards communication? Evaluating the activities of the European Commission in the field of communication (2006)


European integration has become not only a political but also a communication challenge. In order to bridge the gap in communication between European citizens and the EU, the European Commission undertakes various communication measures which add up to an emerging European communication policy. This evolving policy is currently undergoing major reforms based on Margot Wallström’s ‘Action Plan to Improve Communicating Europe’ and the ‘White Paper on a European Communication Policy’. This study examines, on behalf of the EP’s Budgetary Committee, the most important measures that came under communication headings in the general budget undertaken under the Commission’s prerogatives in the years 2000 to 2005 with a view to developing recommendations for future actions. The focus of the study is to establish how much ‘value for money’ these measures represent by looking at their relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and utility. This study deals with the following areas of activity: 1) media relations and particularly the spokespersons’ service and seminars for journalists, 2) the PRINCE campaigns and in detail with the measures on the Euro, EU enlargement and the debate on the future of Europe, 3) decentralisation and the work of the Commission’s Representations and 4) the communication activities of DGs other than DG Comm and how they are coordinated. In this summary of the study we will first present, as a general conclusion, five main challenges for future actions that apply across the board.

Brüggemann, Michael; Kurpas, Sebastian; Clerck-Sachsse, Julia de (2006): Towards Communication? Evaluating the Activities of the European Commission in the field of Communication (Study commissioned by the European Parliament Budget Committee, 31 August 2006). Available online at

Segmented Europeanization. The transnationalization of public spheres in Europe: Trends and patterns (2006)


The existence of a European public sphere, a public network of exchange of opinions and ideas on political issues, has come to be seen as a prerequisite for the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. The paper conceptualizes the Europeanization of the national public spheres as a gradual process that may occur on four different dimensions: 1. monitoring governance, 2. mutual observation, 3. discursive exchange, and 4. collective identification with Europe. It then presents the results of our empirical research on the transnationalization of public spheres in Europe: What is the prevailing pattern of Europeanization that can be observed in different countries of the EU?
We have conducted a quantitative content analysis of the political discourses in quality newspapers of five EU member states (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain) over a period of twenty years. According to our analysis of more than 3,000 articles the main pattern of transnationalization to be found in all countries is segmented Europeanization: Within each public sphere we find more and more talk about European institutions and policies but there is no indication of an increase in the debate in between the national public spheres. In addition, we find weak indications of a gradually developing European “we”-perspective.

Brüggemann, Michael; Sifft, Stefanie; Kleinen-v. Königslöw, Katharina; Peters, Berhard; Wimmel, Andreas (2006): Segmented Europeanization. The Transnationalization of Public Spheres in Europe. Trends and Patterns. TranState Working Paper 37. Bremen. Available online at