Here is an analysis from the Think Tank “Open Europe” Dec. 2008  which I think EU and national leaders should heed.

Happy-euEurope is suffering from a very serious problem with its citizens… It is, I fear, a basic problem which is a reality of our life today. Most of our fellow citizens in Europe do not feel they belong to Europe in the same way that they feel they belong to their towns, regions or countries. They do not feel they are European citizens. The problem is not rooted in Europe’s institutions or procedures. The only way we can resolve the question is to change people’s mindset.”
Pascal Lamy, former EU Commissioner and President of EU-funded think-tank Notre Europe39. Today Secretary General of the WTO.

“The first thing to learn about referendums – is to avoid them. A referendum is good for democracy; it is not always good for a country. We need to make a distinction between democracy and  what is good for the country

When voters rejected the Constitution, the European Commission began to look in on itself and to question where it had gone wrong. But instead of realising that citizens had rejected the idea of more EU integration because they were unhappy with the way the EU operates – its lack of transparency, problems with fraud and corruption, its bloated and unaccountable institutions, its failing trade and agriculture policies, and its tendency to over-regulate – Europe’s politicians decided that the problem was simply that citizens didn’t know enough about the EU and didn’t feel ‘European’ enough

A. In this sense, the EU’s huge yearly budget for promoting European citizenship and culture is arguably the worst kind of propaganda. Some might call it ‘soft’ propaganda, since it operates on a subconscious level.
B. The Commission pretends to be listening, but is selective about who it listens to: After referenda the EU  leaders have sensationally ignored the wish of citizens to reject further EU integration.
C. Funding for outside organisations skews the debate – and in particular the outsourced propaganda that results from the EU
funding outside think-tanks and NGOs which share its vision
– matters because it artificially skews the debate on the EU.
D. The EU and its advocates deride opponents
. EU advertising falls short of UK Government standards
F. A distraction from the EU’s real problems: an ineffective and vain attempt to engender support for something about which people on the whole care very little. At worst, it is a deeply sinister EU propaganda campaign which will in the long run eliminate naysayers, undermining democracy and stopping people from having a truly independent view about the EU
G. Storing up problems for the future. The other, illogical thing about the EU’s propaganda drive is that it threatens to backfire in thelong term and alienate people all the more.

The European Union spends billions of euros a year promoting itself and its central aim of ‘ever closer union’. In 2008 alone it spent €2.4bn at the very least – more than Coca Cola spends each year on advertising, worldwide. By promoting its policies, actions and principles, the EU serves to justify its own existence and, to cement the European Commission’s view that continued European integration is the best, or even the only, future path for progress, and to polishing its image and highlighting its role
It does this in a number of different but interrelated ways, all of which received a boost following the French and Dutch rejections of the EU Constitution in 2005.

Europa-united1.“Communicating Europe” - The EU’s biased information campaign
Firstly and most obviously, the EU publishes classic promotional material, such as booklets, advert sand films, all under the guise of providing ‘information’. Examples include the publication “How the European Union works”, which describes why the EU is “a remarkable success story,” or the pamphlet “Better off in Europe” which says the EU “is delivering a better life for everyone” and describes the single market as “a winning formula although the ongong economic crisis shows the eurozone to be splitting.

Think Tank eurofacts Nov. 14, 2008: EU in 50 Years: Socialist and poor - a
kind of East Germany
- in which relative economic decline can be taken for granted.
MEP Nigel Farage does not think the EU-flagship, the euro, will survive the next 10 years.
Ireland is balancing on the verge of state bankruptcy. Should it come that far international trust in the euro will receive a so serious blow that Spain, Italy and Greece can be dragged into the fall ,«  David McWilliams, former director of the UBS and the Irish Central Bank recently told Irish Radio. 

” Another is the ‘EUtube’ film and website: “Europe and You in 2007 – a snapshot of EU. achievements” Here is an  EU-video  showing how the EU makes our youngsters happy – because we let them down! Note the final picture: Parity with 2 Europeans and 2 coloured persons.
It has its own polling arm – Eurobarometer which it uses to manipulate public opinion, and even its own broadcast channels, and means for influencing the internet and the wider media, such as training and prizes for journalists.

The Commission has even used its various ‘information’ tools to help support pro-integration campaigns in national referendums on EU issues, as was seen in the recent Lisbon Treaty campaign in Ireland. As well as the Commission President visiting Ireland to urge a ‘yes’ vote ahead of the vote, after the referendum, the Commission leaked briefings to the press on two occasions – firstly to wrongly suggest that 40 percent of people had voted ‘no’ out of ignorance.

Belgrade-ngo-center2 Funding the cheerleaders: Paying NGOs , think-tanks and lobby groups promoting EU aims and ideas .  The European Movement, for instance, which says it seeks to “transform the relations between the European States and its citizens into a Federal European  Union.”

3 Buying loyalty: Promoting European citizenship and a common European culture to engender support for the EU particularly among young people

Likewise, the EU’s €400 million Culture Programme states that: “For citizens to give their full support to, and Euromed firkløverparticipate fully in, European integration, greater emphasis should be placed on their common cultural values and roots as a key element of their identity and their membership of a society founded on freedom, equity, democracy, respect for human dignity and integrity, tolerance and solidarity.”

The policy involves emphasising the EU’s ‘symbols’, such as the flag, the anthem, the motto and the euro, as well as lavish celebrations of ‘Europe Day’ and occasions such as the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome – which cost millions of euros. The EU also spends money organising tours and open days for visitors to the EU institutions. It also makes the most of its capacity as a grant-giver, obliging recipients to adorn project communications with the EU flag or even commemorative plaques.

4 Investing in the long-term: Targeting young people
Indeed young people are the prime target for many, if not even most, of the EU’s campaign for heart and minds. The plethora of initiatives aimed specifically at children and young people are highly dubious, and provide some of the most blatant examples of EU propaganda.
The Commission believes that “Particular attention should be given  to young people and the education sector as a channel for helping
people to learn about the European Union.” There is the €885 million Youth in Action Programme , here, and here, for example, which “funds projects which are designed to encourage a sense of active European citizenship in young people”

5 EU propaganda: Why does it matter? What’s the alternative?
Euro kids´posterThe EU spends billions of euros every year promoting the EU and the concept of European integration because its leaders recognise that creating support for the project is the only way to ensure it can continue. (In other words: Without crutches it won´t work).
The series of recent ‘no’ votes to the EU Constitutional Treaty, and falling support for the EU across Europe have shown that there is a significant and growing gap between the EU institutions and its citizens.

A recent poll of French people, for example, found
that only 38 percent feel like European citizens, an increase of only one percent since the notion
of European citizenship was first mentioned in the treaties in 1992.
So depending on how one views it, at best, all of this is an enormous waste of time and money – an ineffective and vain attempt to engender support for something about which people on the whole care very little.

Throughout a full day of conference on the communication policy there was absolutely no acknowledgment at all of any of the EU’s real and very pressing problems.
No, the only thing wrong with the EU in the eyes of the Commission is that the people of Europe simply know nothing about it, and are therefore ungrateful for it. The other, illogical thing about the EU’s propaganda drive is that it threatens to backfire in the long term and alienate people all the more.

The EU’s popularity is in serious decline.
The Commission’s own Eurobarometer polls show that in the UK, for instance, the EU is in 2008 the most unpopular it has been in 25 years.

What should the EU do?

1. Abolish the Commission’s Communications department
2. Scale back the EU’s ‘Education, Culture and Citizenship’ budget
3. Scrap funding for think-tanks promoting EU integration and publish clearer
4. details of recipients
5. Improve EU transparency
6. Improve national parliamentary scrutiny of EU legislation
7. Establish a set of binding guidelines for EU literature and campaigns
8. Ensure teaching in schools on the EU is balanced
9, Hold more referendums on EU issues

Indeed the EU propaganda is expensive – and extremely inefficient:The Times Online Dec. 28, 2008: The EU Tube, the European Union’s answer to YouTube, the internet video sharing phenomenon, has backfired, with audiences shunning many of the clips intended to promote pet subjects in Brussels.
Eighteen months
on from the creation of EU Tube many of the videos posted on the website have attracted only a few dozen viewers. EU Tube is funded out of a €207m (£196m) communication budget from Brussels. So far the channel has attracted only 7,391 subscribers. The community has a population of 500m.

One visitor, Opaz, writes: “It’s like Nazi Hitler Youth propaganda with aggressive music. Be a part of what? The destruction of our nations, homelands and security so that the rich can own and control us. Overlords of EU go to hell!”

As can be inferred from the scandalous visit  of the EU parliamentary delegation to castigate and mock Pres. Vaclav Klaus in Prag, the EU is very tetchy about opposistion to its New World Order strategy which they call the Lisbon Treaty, here. In association with the Irish referendum on that treaty the top of the EU Parliament accused the Nay-movement, Declan Ganley and the Libertas in particular for having received CIA money. They even blamed President Klaus for visiting Declan Ganley during his visit to Ireland. There are limits to what politicians and journalists are allowed to do.

Unpleasant truths are suppresed – not mentioned , the developments of the Union for the Mediterranean and in particular what it is. Why?  Louis Michel : "Without information, without the media the world will lose its memory of the past, its consciousness of the present and its capability to discuss the future."

Common ground: “Propaganda is a means to an end. Its purpose is to lead the people to an understanding that will allow them to willingly and without internal resistance devote themselves to the tasks and goals of a superior leadership. If propaganda is to succeed, it must know what it wants. It must keep a clear and firm goal in mind, and seek the appropriate means and methods to reach that goal.” (Joseph Goebbels)

So, instead of letting the few unscared journalists report on the EU, on Apr. 25, 2008 EU propaganda minister, Margot Wallström,  launched a new procedure: The EU decides what to be brought in the media: 
Firstly, it aims to "contribute to greater and more sustainable coverage of EU affairs" by supplying audiovisual media professionals
A second key approach will be to "encourage media professionals to devote more programmes to EU affairs. 
The third and final step will be to promote the EU executive's communication priorities by increasing its production of high quality edited audiovisual reports and video news. This increased video production should allow the Commission to "better illustrate or explain EU policies. The communication is likely to provoke mixed responses in the European media".