EC changes emphasis for Phare programme

The European Commission has put out for tender its pounds 2.5 million PR contract for Phare, the support programme for prospective EU applicants in central Europe.

The European Commission has put out for tender its pounds 2.5

million PR contract for Phare, the support programme for prospective EU

applicants in central Europe.



Issued by the commission’s external relations arm Directorate-General

IA, the long-awaited tender comes six months after The Rowland Company’s

three-year contract to promote the programme expired (PR Week 5 July,

1996).



The PR campaign handled by Rowland was mainly geared towards explaining

and raising the overall profile of Phare among the media, political

decision makers and non-governmental organisations. The agency was

particularly active in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and

Slovakia.



However, the commission has now shifted the emphasis of the campaign

towards supporting the EU’s wider pre-accession strategy for prospective

new members and away from promoting Phare as a programme in its own

right.



Thomas Glaser, who leads the Phare information unit, explained that the

commission was looking for a Brussels-based agency to devise a core PR

strategy, while EC delegations in each country would recruit their own

consultancies. Calls for tender for these local contracts are likely to

be issued before June.



The central contractor in Brussels will have a budget of 3.5 million ecu

at its disposal and will be expected to provide strategic advice, media

relations support, an Internet information service and a database of

contacts. The deadline for receipt of tenders is 1 April and a decision

is expected in June or July.



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