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EU slammed for 'propaganda'

TT/The Local · 27 Jul 2009, 08:31

Published: 27 Jul 2009 08:31 GMT+02:00

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In a report being released on Monday, Timbro, a free-market think-tank, argues that the EU should draw a clearer distinction between public service information and propaganda.

"The EU's propaganda apparatus has until now gone uncriticised, despite the fact that it acts in a way that would not be tolerated in any member state. In Sweden we have had a broad debate about the way government agencies and publicly-owned companies push political agendas," the report's authors Philip Thomasson-Leruf and Hannes Kataja write in a joint article with Timbro's managing director, Maria Rankka, in Monday's Dagens Nyheter.

"The fact that the commissioner responsible, Margot Wallström, is Swedish, doesn't improve matters," the trio write.

The report's authors stress that they think it's essentially positive that the EU wants to inform the public about its work, but add that "the money we give to the EU should not be spent on persuading people in an intrusive manner of the Union's virtues."

Story continues below…

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:01 July 27, 2009 by Nemesis
A suggestion for the journalists from the local. The next time you ask anyone in Timbro for there opinion, reprase the question in the correct terms.

Ask them what is the opinion of your American Masters who oppose any form of European unity on this issue?

In plain language if someone is purely aligned with something outside Europe, please state so in your articles.

They oppose bank regulation, oppose welfare spending and basically want what the US republicans want.

For the record, I am a capitalist, but not at the expense of the entire nation.
09:26 July 27, 2009 by bocale1
One more point: EU is suffering from a certain lack of confidence from people and it is pretty obvious that they spend resources to buy in people consent. This has nothing to do with propaganda; they are not exalting one specific policy but try to underline the importance of European institutions. Something EU definitely needs in these times and that I fully support.
18:28 July 27, 2009 by Rebel
Using public funds to make people believe a certain way is not only unfiar to those who don't agree -- it's the ultimate irony towards free thought. Also, propaganda is the art of manipulating public opinion. I have visited the EU headquarters in Stockholm and the films they show the public are as propagandistic as any I have viewed in China.
18:39 July 27, 2009 by zircon
Yeah, good for you... Bust her ass! (With reference to Commissioner Wallstrom)
07:28 July 28, 2009 by glassparrot
I haven't been following this story. Without seeing the literature myself, first hand, I don't know exactly what type of publicity material is being criticised, here. (it would be great if you offered a direct link to a pdf of the material, you folks at thelocal.se). But I've gained a lot of admiration for Sweden recently, and I see an opportunity here to float an idea.

I've been thinking recently about the notion that writers seem to be more content in their careers, when they let the reader/consumer find and choose their work to read, rather than when they seek to press their ideas upon a society using a platform like a newspaper (or, I guess in this case, the auspices of an EU agency).

(continued... the 1000 letter limit isn't very much)
18:16 July 29, 2009 by tigger007
you people need to stop crying about america!

we will do what we are gonna do and until u chicken EU boys grow some balls,we may listen. stop crying and blaming america.either do something or shut up!
14:17 July 31, 2009 by GlowofElectrum
Propaganda should be illegal it paints a false reality. But Governments use it all the time what else is new?
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