We have developed a new strategic plan to best position us to respond to the growing appetite for information about the European Union post Brexit, and to further increase our relevance and visibility as a bridge between Ireland and the rest of Europe. This strategy is designed to be agile and adaptable, recognising the opportunity to develop new approaches that reflect how we live today, with a focus on digital, home-based engagement.
This strategy takes a broad approach, and is designed with the goal of supporting a well-informed population, who can participate in informed debate and about Ireland’s European relationships.
To reach this goal, over the next five years our work will be focused on three major areas:
Producing relevant and timely information about Europe and Ireland’s place in it
We use our position to inform our audiences about topics that can be prone to misinformation and misunderstanding. By addressing issues head on, and providing relevant, factual and accessible information, we help to push back against destructive narratives and provide a clear, non-partisan perspective.
Building on our strong track record, we will produce information about European issues as they develop, such as the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and its longer-term consequences; strengthening the EU’s public health role; the EU budget and the funding of programmes; climate change; the EU-UK relationship; the rule of law in Europe; the European Green Deal; the new Conference on the Future of Europe; new expansion talks; and the EU’s relationships with major international powers. We also recognise that other issues will inevitably arise. We will also continue to provide information on political developments in other member states, and will continue to commission opinion polls on public attitudes to the EU.
Promoting public engagement, using both established channels and novel approaches
We will prioritise innovative ways to promote discussion and disseminate information, recognising the inherent value in engaging with our different audiences in ways that are relevant and specific to them. We recognise the value in being ahead of the curve in how we reach people, through podcasts, innovative social media, and well-designed web content. We will follow technological developments, including the use of online conferencing and live streaming, as they evolve.
We will also continue to organise regular public events while education/youth engagement work will continue to focus on educational initiatives, notably the Blue Star Programme for primary schools.
Putting EM Ireland on a sustainable footing
We are a small organisation that relies on a combination of government grants, competitively-allocated programme and project funding, and corporate and membership subscriptions.
Even in normal times, we have to work hard to maintain these funding streams. Given the new economic situation which is emerging, our priority must be to ensure no, or the lowest possible, reduction in funding. We recognise that maintaining our reputation through the quality of our outputs, based on the contribution of high-quality staff, is essential to achieve this objective.