Due to the cessation in 2013 of the Management Partnership agreement signed on March 4, 2013, the funds for 2013 (€250,000) were allocated to the implementation of operations in 2013 and 2014. The following operations were planned as to address the objectives of the Communication Priorities set by the European Commission for 2013 and 2014, namely: The Economic Recovery, The European Year of Citizens 2013, The European Elections 2014.
The Economic Recovery: Overcoming the Crisis Together (€28,002)
Four seminars were held to discuss the national targets under the following four priorities: Businesses (October 10), Research and Innovation (October 31), Education and Employment (November 9), and Energy (January 24). A publication was produced and disseminated as a follow up to these seminars.
Six information sessions, to be held between January and October 2014, themed, ‘Explore’ with the participation of different Managing Authorities and National Contact Points of EU funding programmes. The different themes to be discussed are: Culture and the Arts (January 30); Education and Training (February 20), Research and Innovation (March 20), Social Inclusion (March 27), European Structural and Investment Funds (October 2) and Sustainable Energy and the Environment (October 7). A handbook on EU funds will be developed and disseminated as a follow up to these information sessions.
General Public Communication Campaign: Communicating Citizens’ Rights (€34,810)
In the context of the European Year of Citizens 2013, the aim of this media campaign – held between August and November 2013 – was to promote European citizens’ rights as much as possible, with the premise that the more citizens become aware of their rights as European citizens, the more they can benefit as individuals from these rights.
The campaign was based on themes/case studies which reflect the objectives of the European Year, namely: the right to live and work in the EU, the rights and opportunities derived from EU citizenship, participation in civic fora on EU issues, identifying the remaining obstacles to exercising these rights, and the European Parliament elections in 2014.
The TV, radio, print and online adverts featured real life stories/testimonials by people who spoke about their experience based on real-life stories, that are practical and concrete, which reflect on how they benefited from the rights to:
• Move and reside freely within the EU, work and study abroad
• Consular protection for unrepresented EU citizens in third countries
• Healthcare abroad and the European Health Insurance Card
• Cross-border shopping
• Cheaper roaming rates
The campaign consisted of the transmission of five different adverts that were aired/published as follows:
• 48 TV spots on three TV stations (TVM, ONE TV and NET TV) in October and November 2013;
• 144 radio spots on three radio stations (ONE Radio, Radju Malta and Calypso) in August and September 2013;
• 10 adverts in Sunday local newspapers (Sunday Times of Malta, The Malta Independent on Sunday, Malta Today, Il-Kullhadd and Il-Mument) in August 2013;
• Online banner on five news portals: timesofmalta.com; maltatoday.com.mt; inewsmalta.com; independent.com.mt; and di-ve.com; as well as on Facebook, between September and October 2013.
The European Year of Citizens 2013: Bringing Europe Closer to the Citizens (€55,812)
This operation was directly intended to address the objectives of the European Year of Citizens 2013, in particular to stimulate debate between all levels of government and civil society at events to discuss different aspects of the rights attached to EU citizenship. The actions formed part of the official events organised by MEUSAC as the national coordinator of the European Year of Citizens 2013.
Action 1: ‘It’s about Europe, It’s about YOU; Join the Debate’ (€34,810)
a) A stakeholders’ conference for 120 participants was held on July 31, 2013 to discuss the conclusions of the second European Citizenship Report published by the European Commission on May 9, Europe Day.
b) A series of five citizens’ debates, themed ‘Debates on a Citizens’ Europe’, with the participation of Maltese MEPs, members of Maltese delegations at the EESC and the CoR, government experts and representatives of civil society organisations. The debates were held as follows:
• August 9, Sliema: ‘Where is Europe Heading?’
• August 23, Gozo: ‘The Europe I want to live in’
• September 13, Bugibba: ‘Europe without frontiers’
• September 19, Marsaskala: ‘We are all Europeans, we are all consumers’
• October 5, Valletta: ‘Healthy citizens for a healthy Europe’
c) The closing event of the European Year of Citizens 2013 was held on November 23 at the Palace in Valletta in collaboration with the Office of the President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The event took the form of a Citizens’ Fair with stands set up by EU national contact points and other organisations to provide visitors with information on opprtunities related to EU citizenship and EU citizens’ rights.
Children also had the opportunity to take part in a puppet show on active citizenship and visitors had the opportunity to join guided tours to the State Rooms of the Palace, the Rooms where the Parliamentary committees meet and the Chamber of the House of Representatives.
The main activity of the Citizens’ Fair was a debate between Members of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament and civil society representatives in the Chamber of the House of Representatives. The discussion focused on a Proposal for a Charter on European Citizenship developed by the European Citizen Action Service, and on the European Commission’s Citizenship Report 2013, titled, ‘EU citizens: Your Rights, Your Future’.
Action 2: European Citizens’ Information Point (€13,707)
This action involved the setting up of a European citizens’ information point. The information point aimed at providing information related to EU citizenship and EU citizens’ rights and provided the general public with access to audio-visual resources found on reliable web portals as well as promoting other EU information sources and resources.
According to Decision 1093/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 21, 2012 on the European Year of Citizens (2013), the general objective of the European Year was to enhance awareness and knowledge of the rights and responsibilities attached to Union citizenship. The Decision in Article 2.2 stated that one of the objectives of the European Year had to be that of: ‘strengthening the role and visibility of existing tools for informing citizens, including modern information and communication technology tools, such as the multilingual Europe Direct information centres and Your Europe web portal as key elements of a 'one-stop-shop' information system relating to Union citizens’ rights.’
The setting up of the EU citizens’ information point was the installation of lighting, audiovisual and IT equipment as well as for the refurbishment and redecoration of the entrance of the operating premises of the Contracting Authority, located in Valletta.
This action also envisaged the design and implementation of an online campaign to promote the information point.
Action 3: European Union Youth Orchestra Performance (€7,295)
To celebrate the European Year of Citizens 2013, the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) gave a performance on August 8, 2013 at the Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta. The Joint Coordination Team for the implementation of the Management Partnership operations for 2013 agreed to support the concert organisers - the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (MCCA) in collaboration with V18 – the Foundation responsible for the preparations and celebration of the European Capital of Culture in 2018 in Malta - in organising this prestigious event by funding some of the services required for such an event to happen. The services provided were: the marketing of the event in local newspapers and through a street billboard; lighting and sound; the provision of security services at the venue, before and during the event; the provision of transport for the members of the orchestra and related musical instruments and equipment; the setting up of platforms for the performance; and the necessary cleaning of the venue after the event.
European Elections 2014: The EU Institutions and the Citizen (€39,552)
The European Parliament elections took place in May 2014, at a time when the EU was facing an ever growing challenge in addressing the gap between the EU and its citizens.
Therefore, the measures addressed by this campaign had a two-fold objective:
• to raise awareness among the general public on the basic principles and values of the EU and its main institutions, the notion of EU citizenship and the rights attached to it; and
• to encourage the citizens to play a full part in the democratic life of the EU particularly by making their voice heard and by voting for their representatives in the European Parliament, especially in the context of the upcoming elections in 2014.
The development and implementation of a general public information campaign aimed at promoting the EU institutions and the role of EU citizens in the EU framework. The campaign targeted Maltese citizens, EU citizens residing in Malta (permanent or temporary), third country nationals and tourists.
Awareness raising activities consisted of:
• the transmission of messages to promote the EP elections through the relevant media mix including TV (three TV stations), radio (two radio stations), one web portal and on facebook (December 2013 – February 2014);
• the drawing up, design and printing of 20,000 copies of an information leaflet and its dissemination to tourists at six major tourist landmarks in Malta (October 2013);
• the drawing up, design and printing of 120,000 copies of an information leaflet to be distributed nationwide (February 2014).
The development and implementation of an educational campaign aimed at increasing the level of knowledge about the history of EU integration and of the EU institutions and the decision making process, as well as providing information about the inter-relationship between Malta and the EU.
This action consisted of the organisation of:
• information sessions for students following journalism and communication courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The sessions were held on November 15, 2013 at the University of Malta by Ms Maria Teresa Sette, an Italian freelance journalist working in the UK. She covered the following topics: ‘Am I European enough’ for 1st and 2nd year students, and ‘The cross-border journalist’ for 3rd and 4th year students held on November 27, 2013. Ms Sette also gave a public lecture for journalists and the general public, themed, ‘Reporting on Migration’ at Europe House in Valletta, on November 28, 2013.
• the development of an interactive multimedia educational resource kit for year six (6) teachers in primary schools across Malta and Gozo. The resource kit will consist of four interactive flash modules with the following themes: The history of the EU; How the EU works; The EU in our everyday lives; Malta in the EU. (February 2014).
EU Educational Cartoon: Tommy and Rosy (€51,630)
The aim of this operation was to raise awareness among children of the importance of the EU as a source for peace and prosperity in Europe as well as creating a greater sense of Europeanness among children by instilling in them a greater sense of belonging to the EU, whilst empowering them to become active citizens in an ever evolving Union.
Action 1: Development and Production of the Cartoon (€45,000)
The fourth edition of the Tommy and Rosy educational cartoon for primary school students revisited the themes of the first three episodes of Tommy and Rosy (the history of the EU and the underlying values and principles, also touching on how children can benefit from the EU project).
Action 2: Promotion of the Cartoon (€6,630)
Coordinated Marketing Strategy - Promotion of Episode 4 of Tommy and Rosy: The launching and promotion of Tommy and Rosy episode 4 took place on May 4, during FESTATFAL, a fun-filled day for 10 year old children and their families alike to celebrate Malta’s 10th anniversary from its accession to the European Union. The cartoon will also be promoted during Notte Bianca (October 2014) whereby the MEUSAC foyer will be converted into a cinema like theatre targeting the general interest of the younger generations so that they sit back and enjoy the screening of the cartoon during this national event. MEUSAC will also provide the freebies of Tommy and Rosy to commemorate this animated cartoon. The whole aim of this promotional event is to increase further awareness during this event which is considered as a perfect platform to kick start it. It is expected that during this event some 4000 – 5000 children visit the foyer of our offices.
The Promotion of the 2013 Communication Priorities (€51,376)
The ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’ is intended to help the EU to emerge stronger from the current economic crisis and transform the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.
The targets of this Strategy cannot be reached unless all parties involved, including EU Member States, stakeholders and European citizens themselves, are involved in the process. This calls for a coordinated effort for stakeholders and citizens to own the Strategy and be involved in the implementation of its initiatives, thereby enhancing the chances of achieving its objectives.
In this context, this operation is intended to communicate the relevant information, to raise awareness, and instil debate on the five headline targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy at EU and local levels, and also serve as a mid-term review of Europe 2020 at the national level.
Moreover, 2014 will also mark the tenth anniversary of Malta’s accession to the EU. This event should serve as an opportunity to take stock of the first ten years of EU membership and look ahead towards the first six months of 2017 when Malta will assume the Presidency of the EU Council.
The action consists of:
• the organisation of two public dialogues, one in Malta with the Prime Minister and one in Gozo with the Ministry for Gozo, to commemorate and evaluate the first ten years of Malta’s membership in the EU within the general context of the Europe 2020 Strategy;
• the organisation of four public dialogues with government ministers and/or senior government officials on Malta's progress towards the Europe 2020 targets.
• the promotion of the dialogues and dissemination of their outcomes. This will be done through the development, organisation and promotion, possibly including digital tools, to further promote the Joint Communication Priorities for 2013. This will be done through the extension of the domain and hosting of the citizens' tool kit developed in the Joint Communication Plan of 2011.