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The European Union

Development of communication action plans according Association Agreement for Line Ministries by Mara Dzirniece and Lidiia Yershykhina

One of the main aim of the Association4U project - to increase the capacity of line ministries to communicate related to the Association Agreement and the European integration issues, and to encourage the audience to fully exploit the potential of the AA/DCFTA.

According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine data, about 30 million people are urban residents and 13 million people - 30% of the population - inhabitants of rural areas. Only 37% of Ukraine's population has access to the Internet. This means that 60% of the information on the eurointegration process and benefits of the signing the Association Agreement must communicate in other ways. That what short-term expert from Latvia Mara Dzirnitse and associated expert Lidiia Yershykhina explained during the morning workshop. For each line ministry experts have prepared a draft communication plan with the following objectives:

- to foster public participation and involvement in the European Integration and reform process and to promote public awareness on the progress of the implementation of the AA/DCFTA;

- to provide small and medium enterprises with the information on the opportunities and benefits and core changes that will have an impact on business operations;

- to reduce risk of forming incorrect stereotypes, unjustified expectations as well as reduce risk of disinformation and anti-European propaganda.

Before embarking on the implementation of communication plans, there is a need to understand who the key stakeholders and audiences of items:

- people who are directly under the impact (consumers = public in general)

- who are faster and easier to reach (public enterprises)

- who know least about the opportunities the AA/DCFTA offer and could benefit most (ex. SMEs)

- whose assistance is essential for the AA/DCFTA implementation (business associations, Chambers of commerce, civil servants)

- who are knowledgeable on the subject (academia, think tanks)

-who are skeptical or have a negative opinion about European integration 

During the workshop, the parties decided that the main source of information will be EU legislation contained in the Association Agreement. While the basis of key messages constitute advantages and opportunities provided by the AA/DCFTA.

In addition, the coordinate council of communications, consisting of representatives of the project team Association4 communicators, communication departments/press services of the five line ministries and the Office of Vice-Prime-Minister, meet once a month to evaluate campaigns for qualitative and quantitative analysis of the results and possible shortcomings.

 

by Oksana Shamonova