Polska Fundacja im. Roberta Schumana
Fundacja im. Stefana Batorego
European Council on Foreign Relations, Warsaw office
Fundacja Rozwoju Społeczeństwa Informacyjnego
Partner organisation 4 Pracownia Badań i Innowacji Społecznych „Stocznia” stocznia.org.pl Poland The project will be executed with a strong support of well-established pro-European NGOs.
EU needs a new narrative in Poland. While EU support is high, it’s not deeply rooted and EU does not evoke emotions. Politicians are juxtaposing Polish sovereignty with EU membership to gain political capital. Anti-EU discourse is prevailing over the internet. Using social media campaigning we want to build an attractive emotional pro-European narrative, create grassroots movements empowering & bringing voices of citizens into spotlight, sharing their opinions with unfiltered expression.
European democracy is strong with its member states and their willingness to invest in European integration. Thanks to the communication and engagement campaign Poles will see the EU as key to Polish independence and thus will be more eager to take a shared responsibility for the common Europe. With a more pro-active Poland in the EU we hope that the re-emerging East-West divide in the EU can be avoided.
For the majority of Poles EU membership will be fundamental for their definition of sovereignty and part of their identity. Therefore, there will be no political capital to be gained from juxtaposing Polish sovereignty and the EU. Poles will feel proud of EU membership as one of the greatest successes of Polish sovereignty. Thanks to that campaign we also hope for higher participation in the election to the European Parliament (turnout in 2014 was only 23.83%).
We will make heavy use of the concept of identity politics i.e. identifying social groups that tend to define themselves through a particular social factor.
1. Through expert analysis we will aim at understanding the possibilities of filling identity and emotional gaps in those groups using a pro-EU narrative.
2. We will test the results on focus groups. This will serve as the basis for building targeted communication.
3. For implementation we will create and stimulate groups in social media for each of the identified groups. We will create emotional and engaging content, based on videos, memes, infographics and encourage bottom-up engagement through bringing raw voices of citizens into the spotlight. Influencers and partner sectoral organizations will help to multiply the message
We see EU membership as a great successes of Polish independence. Although, on the face of it Poles support EU integration, many studies suggest that we are on the verge of major changes in social attitudes towards Europe. Even Polish Academy of Sciences notes that the prevailing social norm of supporting EU is giving way to euro-indifference. Anti-EU discourse is prevailing over the internet. Support for EU membership is not deeply rooted and by most is judged in financial categories. What lacks are values and emotions, especially with the younger generation. Given the political circumstances, we fear that if we do not react, attitudes towards European integration in Poland might shift dramatically. We want to protect a solid place for Poland in the EU.
Polish citizens - who will regain the sense of pride of being champions of European integration. We will identify selected target/identity groups that we will try to encourage to speak up. As a consequence we hope Politicians will be pressured not to juxtapose EU membership and Polish sovereignty.
The project will be implemented in a wider team of pro-European organizations – the European Front. Moreover, for each of the identified target groups we would like to partner with an expert sectoral organization for them to act as curators.
We want to make use of the very same strategy and tools that have been widely used by the best campaigns of the previous years. While, most EU information is rational, it does not bring any emotions. We will also aim at using state-of-the-art techniques to use micro-targeting when possible. Moreover, our goal is to provoke a bottom-up communication. Our idea is to build a platform for different social groups where they can discuss the EU. We don’t want to tell them what the EU is, we want to know what the EU is for them. Our aim is to use simple and friendly language, spread messages that will attract different social groups to the European Union and amplify the voices of citizens.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Research costs – 9 000 euro Content creation – 5 000 euro Social media activities - 4 000 euro Office expenses – 9 700 euro Personnel costs, including social media administrators – 44 000 euro
How to best reach and engage selected groups? What motivates you and the general public to actively defend an idea? What does sovereignty mean to you and how does the EU fit in?