Engaging with the EU's Southern Neighbours
In a nutshell
Since Arab Spring in 2011, there have been some significant and not always positive changes along the EU’s southern border, reflected at present in civil and economic unrest and migration issues. Despite the EU making substantial contributions in Mashreq and Maghreb countries in areas such as justice, public administration and education, too many citizens are simply unaware of these efforts and of the investments the EU is making. A fresh approach was needed to get the positive outcomes and messages from EU regional and bilateral projects across to the large populations of young people in the region.
In order to demonstrate what the EU is doing to change the lives and prospects of local youth for the better, GOPAcom. focused on forms of communication that allowed the youth to tell their stories. This meant moving away from conventional forms of communication and concentrating instead on social media and the internet to raise and maintain awareness. Together, we created engaging and dynamic (refreshed on a real-time basis) posts and videos that also reflected cultural, ethnic and linguistic differences.
The project has succeeded in changing the relatively dry EU programme messages into dynamic stories that appeal to people both within and outside of the project region. In close collaboration with the region’s media, we are increasing awareness of the efforts and positive influence of EU activity. This has not only led to improved coverage of EU affairs, it has also promoted digital media as a channel for efficient and independent information.