We Need to Talk about the EU: European Political Advertising in the Post-Truth Era

The EU is losing the battle for Europeans’ hearts and minds. The long economic crisis and the subsequent immigration crisis have frustrated millions of citizens and angered them against the elites—and, unfortunately, against the EU.

Many fear that their material status, the economic security of their families and their ability to fulfil their own expectations and ambitions are slipping out of their hands. Europeans are also suffering from an identity crisis. Many believe that their countries and neighbourhoods are being threatened by mass immigration and that the ruling elites, sealed off in steel and glass towers in their respective countries’ capitals, are not listening.

The EU is facing its biggest communication challenge ever. The EU institutions need to take up the gauntlet and start defending the European project. The purpose of this paper is to analyse potential new ways of ‘advertising the EU’. The key assumption is that, whenever possible, EU institutions should follow best practices from the business sector since these have proved to be more effective in the current communication environment.

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