So here goes, my three resolutions for a good 2013:
1) Focus on what really matters
2) Prioritise only what you can realistically achieve
3) Push to achieve more
Am I talking about me or the European Union? Not really relevant here.
What really matters (you see? I am already implementing resolution number 1!) is that if we want 2013 to be a year to remember we need to....have something to remember!
1) We all know it will be another year of crisis and there will be many things worrying Europeans, So the EU should FOCUS on those from a communications point of view even if the working agenda is much broader than this.
A couple of examples? I have three that spring to mind: the euro and the debt crisis, unemployment especially among the young, and the lack of fairness (why is not everyone sharing the burden of this crisis?). There might be many more issues and themes but the key thing is to chose, then focus your actions even further and, above all, stick to your decisions. Hammer it into people's heads until they understand you are doing something that will benefit them.
2) There are also unachievable things the EU should probably stay clear off (again, I am talking in communication terms!) such as convince the UK people that it is actually in their interest to remain in the EU; better leave that hot potato to their politicians!
And then the EU should realise that some initiatives are no doubt well intended but in the end not really effective. An example? Well, 2013 is - as I am sure you all know, right? - the European Year of Citizens. I have been saying that there is a terrible disconnect between the EU and its citizens so in theory this should be a great initiative. The homepage of the website has a big banner that says: IT'S ABOUT EUROPE, IT'S ABOUT YOU! JOIN THE DEBATE! Agreed. The problem is: who is going to join the debate? Who is going to take part in the many consultations if not the ones that are already aware these consultations exist? Who will write to their MEP if not the ones that actually can name him or her already? And who is really going to check the Facebook pages of the EU institutions, (the irresistible page below notwithstanding!!) if not the ones that have already done it before - either to insult or to praise! Believe me when I say that I really would like to be wrong on this one, but in my experience, there is little chance of this kind of initiative gathering a substantial number of new supporters to add to the existing ones. But please, please, do prove me wrong!
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3) Finally, no matter what everyone, me included, will say, the EU must continue to push throughout 2013, for more Europe, for a better Europe, but also for a more understandable Europe and an in-touch-with-its- people-Europe because frankly if the EU does not do this....nobody else, in the current climate, will.