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Der Mythos vom Dialog mit den Bürgern: der Beitrag der Europäischen Kommission zur Schaffung einer europäischen Öffentlichkeit


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  • Brüggemann, Michael
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    Die Entwicklung einer europäischen Öffentlichkeit wird häufig als Lösung für die Vermittlungsprobleme der EU propagiert. Die Förderung eines solchen Forums der Verständigung zwischen Bürgern und Politik ist daher erklärtes Ziel der EU-Kommission. Sie begreift Kommunikation als den Gegenstand einer neu zu entwickelnden Policy Proklamiertes Leitbild dieser Politik ist ein Dialog mit den Bürgern. Dem stehen kritische Ansätze gegenüber, die in Informationsaktivitäten öffentlicher Organe vornehmlich Propaganda sehen. Hier setzt dieser Artikel an, stellt ein Modell zur wissenschaftlichen Analyse von Informationspolitik vor und wendet dies auf die Informationspolitik der Europäischen Kommission an. Informationspolitik wird dabei als die Gesamtheit politischer Entscheidungen verstanden, die die Informationsaktivitäten öffentlicher Institutionen regeln. Informationspolitik strukturiert die Regeln zum Zugang zu Informationen und setzt den Rahmen für die PR (Public Relation). Informationspolitik kann Anstoß zu öffentlichen Debatten geben und somit die Genese von Öffentlichkeit fördern. Empirisch gelingt dies der Informationspolitik der Kommission allerdings nicht, wie die Untersuchung zeigt, die auf einer Analyse von Policy-Dokumenten, Produkten der Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, halbstandardisierten Experteninterviews und zwei standardisierten Befragungen beruht. Im Vergleich zu den Traditionen europäischer Geheimpolitik lässt sich ein Wandel hin zu mehr Transparenz feststellen. Aber der gleichzeitig angestrebte Dialog mit den Bürgern scheitert. So lassen sich am Fall EU Grenzen und Potenzial von Informationspolitik abstecken, die auch über die Fallstudie hinaus Geltung beanspruchen können. Das weit verbreitete Versprechen vom Dialog mit den Bürgern entlarvt sich als illusorisch. Trotzdem kann Informationspolitik zur Genese einer demokratischen Öffentlichkeit beitragen. -- The development of a European public sphere is often seen as a solution to the manifold problems of the EU instutions in communicating with European citizens. Thus, the advancement of such a forum of exchange between citizens and policy-makers has become a manifest goal of the European Commission. Communication is becoming a policy in its own right. The proclaimed paradigm of this policy is a ‘dialogue with the citizens’. Critics of government public relations efforts do not buy into this claim and conceive the communication attempts by public institutions as propaganda. This article presents a model for the scholarly analysis of communication as a policy and applies this framework to the information policy of the European Commission. Information policy is understood as a set of political decisions which govern the information activities of public institutions. Information policy structures the rules of access to information and sets the goals of institutional PR. Information policy may in fact be able to trigger public debates and thus promote the genesis of a transnational public sphere in Europe. However, the attempts of the European Commission are not successful in this respect. Empirically, the study combines an analysis of of policy-documents and the manifest products of public relations work, semi-standardized interviews with Commission and government officials and two standardized surveys. In contrast to the traditions of EU secrecy, the Commission has made a turn towards more transparency but the desired ‘dialogue with the citizens’ does not carry trough. Going beyond the case of the European Commission, the study explores the potential and the limits of information policy and sheds doubt on the validity of public claims towards ‘dialogue with citizens’. Aloof from this illusionary promise, information policy can nevertheless contribute to the thriving of a democratic public sphere.

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    Paper provided by University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State in its series TranState Working Papers with number 84.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:84

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