Baltic PR Awards 2010
Category: Public Sector & NGOs
Europe comes to my town
Average turnout of last European Parliament (EP) elections in European Union (EU) was
43%. The turnout in Latvia was 53.7% in EP elections, however, such good result was
received mostly due to the fact that EP elections were on the same day as local government
elections, moreover, post-electoral survey showed that only 6% of Latvian citizens took part in
elections because they are in favour of the EU, 8% - felt as citizen of EU and only 2%
admitted that EU plays an important role in their everyday life. 61% gave “citizen’s duty” as
the answer to inquiry why they have taken part at the elections. Another conclusion after EP
elections was the older is the voter group, the higher the participation rate is. Taking this into
account during the period from 5 November till 9 December 2009 EP Information Office in
Latvia (EPIO) involved Consultancy to develop and implement series of regional events.
To gain general information on public opinion, as well as potential issues, research was
based on already made surveys or available data:
• Eurobarometer post-electoral survey 2009. Main conclusion was due to
the low participation in EP elections it is critical necessary to educate
youth in regions about decisions making in EP and its role in everyday
• Eurobarometer 71 – public opinion in EU (summer of 2009). Survey
proved that in Latvia has the smallest number of supporters for
participation in the EU - only a quarter of Latvian citizens (25%) admits
that Latvian membership in EU is a good case. Analysis of main issues
mentioned by survey participants: unemployment (65%) and economic
situation in the country (59%), gave background for setting key topics for
the content of the events.
• Data of citizen’s activity in last EP elections were analyzed to choose the
target regions and towns.
Stakeholder analysis was implemented to define and map stakeholders who may affect
results of campaign, as well to identify the opportunities and possible relationships. Key
stakeholders identified: youth (11th and 12th grade pupils), NGOs, local opinion leaders,
representatives from local governments and local media.
Focus group discussions were organized to test the content of the lectures for pupils. Also
discussions about the ideas of technical solutions for attractive event design were evaluated
1. To increase information flow about EP in regional towns with no or
limited access to information about EU;
2. For EPIO to establish direct communication with regional schools in
order to increase awareness of EP and it’s provided possibilities for
In order to increase information flow about EP the following strategy was selected:
1. to visit most critical towns with an interactive road show that grabs
attention and provides platform for a direct communication;
2. to engage local public into active communication raising sensitive issues
from the scope of everyday life and explaining if and how they could be
solved through EP activities. As well to introduce the 8 new members
representing Latvia in the EP;
3. to establish direct contact with local government decision makers;
4. to involve in a discussion most active representatives of the local
community as well as NGO’s, journalists, etc.
To establish direct communication with regional schools, consultancy recommended:
1. to educate youth and teachers in regions about decision making process
in EP and to explain the role of EP in everyday life.
2. to provoke discussions with regional youth about provided possibilities to
do field practice in EP and to inform about the project “Euroscola”, as
well to promote EPIO website www.europarl.lv.
Road show area
Regional road show with a slogan “European Parliament comes to your town” was organized
covering 26 towns of Latvia in 20 days. Main criteria for selections were:
there is no EU information center in the town;
or there were low citizens activity in last EP elections, for
example, Gulbenes district – 43,95%, Madonas district –
45,97%, Saldus district – 44,79%, Tukuma district – 44,81%.
Attractive designed truck
Road show was organized in branded track coloured in EU colours and decorated with
slogans and other visual materials thus ensuring that exhibition materials are easily
transportable, as well the truck was very well noticeable and welcoming. Inside the truck there
were placed 15 different posters, for example, of each member of EP from Latvia, of the
political group spectrum in the EP, a simplified decision-making chart for EU/EP legislation
etc. Printed material was supplemented by video greetings from members of EP. Exhibition
visitors could take pictures with photo stand of EP President - Jerzy Buzek, and see them on
EPIO homepage. Truck also had a corner for informal discussions with tea, coffee and some
Road show daily agenda
Every day of road show began with two secondary school visits where EPIO representatives
gave a lecture. After the school visits there were meetings with local government
representatives, opinion leaders and NGOs. At the afternoon exhibition was open for local
public visits. In every town there were organized interviews with local media to explain
increasing role of EP and youth possibilities in EP.
1. Visited 26 regional towns;
2. Direct communication with 4804 regional inhabitants, indirect audience –
3. 29 interviews given to local media, approx. 275 000 reached by them;
4. More than 23 584 different information leaflets on EP and EU were
distributed, indirect audience – approx. 7500 inhabitants.
5. 20 meetings with local government representatives, opinion leaders and
6. 85 lectures were delivered in 39 secondary schools, direct
communication with 45 teachers.
7. During the campaign numbers of visitors of www.europarl.lv increased
for 3 times, in top 3 visited pages were section about youth.
1. Regional society is more informed about the ways to get information
2. Regional society has more information about the EP, decision making
process in EU institutions, 8 members of EP from Latvia and the
increasing role of EP;
3. Regional school representatives can improve the teaching methods
using EP prepared handouts, video and audio materials as well to invite
EPIO representatives to do lecturing.
1. Several schools have invited EPIO representatives once again to do
lecturing to other pupils who did not have possibility to take part in event.
2. Within “Euroscola” project framework two schools that had lectures have
won possibility to go to Brussels.
Since the last Eurobarometer survey in Latvia took place in the time of campaign’s
implementation, the long term effect of the campaign will be measured in next survey.
Meetings with more than 40 local government representatives
Local government representatives
Head of Salaspils municipality,
“European Parliament was established
to ensure society representation in
European structures trough the direct
democracy. Lately the role of the
Parliament has increased.”
PUPILS AND TEACHERS LOCAL MEDIA LOCAL SOCIETY
85 lectures in 39 secondary schools 29 interviews to local media Direct communication with 4804 regional inhabitants