The European Parliament has unveiled the first steps in its attempt to
make its communications more ‘user friendly’ with a revamped news
Key developments, reported by Reuters, include the launch of daily and
weekly news reports replacing the comprehensive, technical bulletins
known as Info-Memos.
The new reports will be published in both English and French in response
to requests from press organisations in Brussels. ‘Historically some
information was only available in French,’ explained Jan Kurlemann, head
of division in the EP’s directorate of press and audio-visual services.
‘After the accession of Sweden, Finland and Austria there is more demand
for information in English’.
The daily News Report provides short, ‘snappy’, reports of selected
committee meeting decisions and other events written in a style aimed at
the general public while the weekly News Alert lists highlights of the
coming week. There will also be more in-depth briefings on complex
subjects such as BSE in both languages.
Coverage of the plenary sessions is largely unchanged with the pre-
session briefings, twice-daily reports and resumes produced in all 11
official languages, although both the design and style have been updated
to make them more accessible. A summary of night sessions will be
produced in English and French.
‘The main idea is to be more consumer friendly,’ said Kurlemann. He
added that there would also be more concentration on the activities of
the Parliament itself within the reports. ‘If a Commission member visits
a committee of the European Parliament they will issue their own speech.
We would concentrate on the reaction of the European Parliament,’ he
The changes have been ordered in response to a report produced by Hill
and Knowlton last year. Head of visits and services, Wolf Dieter Hell,
said his department would be producing a final response to the report’s
recommendations ‘not before October’. However, he revealed it had
already adopted some measures such as more collaboration with the