INTERNATIONAL: Euro changeover sparks new PR funding from EU

BRUSSELS: European Union moves to sponsor the changover to the single currency will lead to a windfall for continental PR agencies, as countries which have signed up to the euro prepare campaigns to mark the introduction of notes and coins in 2002.

BRUSSELS: European Union moves to sponsor the changover to the

single currency will lead to a windfall for continental PR agencies, as

countries which have signed up to the euro prepare campaigns to mark the

introduction of notes and coins in 2002.



Since 1996, the European Commission has spent more than pounds 70

million on information campaigns for the single currency and will

provide a further pounds 20 million in 2000. The commissioner for

economic and monetary affairs, Pedro Solbes, last week issued a request

to the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, for the funding to

be increased over the next two years.



Under commission proposals, two-thirds of the money would be given

directly to member states - as it is now, as long as they provide

matching funds - while the rest would be used by the commission to pay

for campaigns across the EU.



Brussels last week released its campaign strategy for the introduction

of the euro, focusing on informing small and medium-sized companies and

the public of the steps needed for the cash changeover to go

smoothly.



The campaign aims to ensure that all companies realise they cannot

continue using old national currencies after the current transitional

period ends in 2002.



Companies must set a date to be ready to trade in euros, and change

their internal accounts to euros.



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