Rowland wins EC anti-racist brief

The European Commission has handed the PR contract for European Year Against Racism, to a UK-based PR firm, The Rowland Company, together with a budget thought to be in the region of pounds 750,000.

The European Commission has handed the PR contract for European

Year Against Racism, to a UK-based PR firm, The Rowland Company,

together with a budget thought to be in the region of pounds

750,000.



The year-long programme, which launched on 30 January with a two-day

conference in The Hague, is intended to highlight the threat racism

poses to human rights and to EU cohesion, and to encourage discussion of

anti-racist measures across the 15 member states.



It ran into controversy earlier this week when it was revealed that the

UK Government has vetoed a European Union anti-racist monitoring unit,

which was to have been one of the programme’s key elements. However,

Rowland said this had never been a part of its brief.



The agency won the business last month after taking part in an open call

for tender in July. It handled a similar project - the European Year of

Lifelong Learning for the EC last year. Rowland’s brief this time is to

assist the co-ordinating unit at DGV of the European Commission in

Brussels - which looks after employment and social affairs issues.



This will involve producing posters, a quarterly newsletter, a 20-page

brochure and a VNR, and providing media support at major events during

the year.



It is as yet unclear whether Rowland offices elsewhere in Europe will be

involved. Aisling Mullen, Rowland business group director, corporate,

said the agency’s job was to ’provide support from the centre, in the

form of tools, advice, and drafting releases to help the people on the

ground.



She added: ’We have to work within the framework of subsidiarity, which

means that each country is responsible for implementing its own

programme’.



The EU has earmarked ecu 4.6 million (pounds 3.4 million) for the year,

much of which will go to fund grass-roots projects in four areas:

everyday racism; racism in working life, raising public awareness and

legislation.



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