Working at EU Level

Mapping communication rights at the European level

Working at the EU level

The Italian team working to apply the GGP Framework to the European context was composed of 8 people: academics, journalists, communication activists, members of NGOs and university students. We have organised ourselves into four groups, according to the four pillars of the framework (The Public Sphere, Enriching the public domain, Civil Rights in Communication and Cultural Rights in Communication).
We set up an internal mailing list for circulating material, sharing relevant information and organizing face to face meetings (which took place twice a month). We realized that in looking at a broad regional dimension, differently from a national context, different levels were to be taken into consideration:

1. EU and supra-national institutions (positions adopted by the EU in international for a and negotiations);
2. EU defining issues for the functioning of its own institutions
3. EU adopting provisions for member states and
4. Implementation at the national level.

We were forced to make a choice due to resources available. Therefore, at least for the first phase, we decided to focus on the second and third level. Most of our investigation, therefore, concerns policies, strategies, legislation adopted at the EU level and implemented throughout the EU, but with no specific reference to national contexts.

The first phase of the project (which is still on-going) concerned the application of the general framework: revision of working tools, application of the framework and development of a schematic grid for collecting and organizing data. The outcome been a mapping exercise of existing provisions in the EU concerning the different themes in the pillars, through a collection of relevant materials, identification of basic documents, relevant websites, contacts and useful resources. For each indicator we are now elaborating “the EU position” on the matter. Such a comprehensive “map” does not exist at the moment, so the result appears to be a meaningful contribution, to be later translated into a tool for action.

Where we stand

The materials that have been posted on the cris-italia website until now are mainly work in progress, yet they can be conceived as a cognitive map; to be integrated, completed and discussed, as well as a useful tool for immediate access to a number of documents:

· We have developed a grid for data collection and organization;
· We have collected data according to the pillars’ themes, using a common grid for data collection in order to obtain homogenous and comparable results;
· We are now in the process of “translating” those schematic grids into more discursive and accessible versions (see Pillar B) which will be inserted in the FINAL REPORT

The report is still a work in progress but it offers a review of EU Institution and the role of civil society in influencing the complex european decision making process. The analysis of existing policies and provisions has been carried out on the four pillars that constitute the architecture of the whole project research.