The Hague to scrap EU info fund

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Deputy Foreign Minister Ben Knapen has decided to scrap the Europe Fund designed to finance projects that focus on the European Union. From now on the cabinet itself will inform the public, through lectures, interviews and articles, on the importance of the EU for the Netherlands.

In a letter to parliament, Mr Knapen argues that, despite some positive effects, the 10-year-old fund, which has an annual budget of 2.5 million euros, has yielded unclear results.

The European message, he suggests, should henceforth be spread through both traditional media and social media.

As an example the minister cites an EU page he recently created on Facebook aimed at younger people, where they can engage politicians in a discussion on EU issues.

He also wants to inform journalists more frequently on complex EU issues, hoping they will lavish more attention on such topics.

In addition, cabinet members themselves will speak more often at educational and social organisations on EU topics, the minister writes.

The public and political debate, he claims, is often dominated by a negative perception of the EU, for example that EU membership entails a progressive loss of sovereignty without a greater say in Brussels in exchange.

In his letter the minister stresses the need for an unbiased, realistic evaluation of the EU, whose advantages, to his mind, outweigh the disadvantages.   

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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