In 2024, a new European Parliament will be elected. These elections represent one of the biggest political communication and campaigning events. Studio Europa will organize a televised debate with lead candidates of the European party groups.
The aim is to provide young citizens and voters the possibility to hear the lead candidates speak about political issues the young generation cares about. In order to publicize the event, Studio Europa is interested in having a PREMIUM team take a closer look at the communication and dissemination strategy it has in place and to analyse and compare the communication strategy of political parties and individual candidates. The aim is to study diverse channels and techniques of communication in order to assess what strategies are most optimal to reach young voters and encourage and mobilize them to vote.
The specific focus of our debate is the ‘youth vote’ i.e. voters below the age of 30 and particularly those voting for the first time. Several communication and outreach activities are planned by Studio Europa, working with a range of different organizations. The aim is to reach a diverse audience, but in particular young citizens and young voters.
With the engagement of the members of the PREMIUM students, the aim is to answer the following questions:
- What communication channels and techniques are employed by European party groups, national parties and individual candidates?
- To what extent are the communication channels and techniques employed by Studio Europa effective in reaching young citizens about the Maastricht Debate?
- Are there any additional communication channels or techniques that are not considered by Studio Europa?
These questions can be examined by connecting with the public outreach activities of the European Party groups, national parties and individual candidates as well as the outreach activities planned by Studio Europa:
- Election campaigns of European Party Groups, national parties and individual candidates:
The PREMIUM project team could explore ways to monitor and assess the channels, techniques and means that are employed by European party groups, national parties and individual candidates to reach young citizens and voters. Here the challenge that the team could pose to itself could be to identify not only the means of communication but to also to develop a strategy to assess the degree of effectiveness. This could in part be explored through the publicly accessible content put out by these parties and by reaching out to the debate organizer and client Studio Europa.
- Networking with other Universities:
Through a network of Universities, the debate will be shown live across the EU. The PREMIUM team could seek to explore ways how best the discussion on the European elections could be publicized at these nodes before and after the Spitzenkandidaten debate and to reach a wide of circle of young citizens. Additionally, outreach through contacts in the Yufe network will be explored and assessed to what degree these help to publicize the event.
- Cooperation with content creators on social media: Social media will not only play a crucial role during the debate, it is a critical tool to engage a wide audience. The PREMIUM team will be asked to identify ways to entice social influencers and content creators to report on the debate.
The event will be a unique opportunity to put Maastricht, its university, students and staff on the map. The debate -and the events leading up to it- can also help shape the future of the EU. By actively promoting discussions on the Europe young people want, the project will have great societal relevance. For the PREMIUM team-as well as the organization- this unique project can be seen of added value as it will:
- Expand their skill set: The range of tasks covered by this project, imply that the PREMIUM team will enhance their organisational and administrative skills. They will further their communicative skills by presenting issues prevalent in EU politics in an appealing and succinct manner . Students will enhance team-player- and “diplomatic” skills. Furthermore, by developing a strategy to monitor the political communication and campaigns, the members of the team will obtain critical skills as media observers. Team members will discuss and decide on the relevance of data sources the optimal strategies of measures the impact of campaigns. These might in the form of surveys that they field, in-depth interviews, focus group meetings, or experiments.
- Be part of a unique event in the context of EU politics: This debate is “EU politics in action”. It is not foreseen in the EU Treaties but reflects the dynamics of EU politics. For a single day, all spotlights in the EU should direct towards Maastricht.
- Extend their network of contacts: The organisation as well as the PREMIUM students will get in contact with young people from all over the EU, partners within the domain of social media and staff of Studio Europa. These contacts could prove invaluable for the future career of the students.
The opportunity is quite unique and rare: to study the organisation of a large event that brings together a set of high-profile partners. This requires coordinative skills, a sensitivity for cultural affinities, affinity with digital skills as well as administrative and communicative skills. We are looking for an interdisciplinary, energetic and professional group of students that are willing to go the extra mile.
Studio Europa Maastricht is a centre of expertise for Europe-related debate and research.
Founded in 2018 and supported by the partners of the ‘Maastricht, Working on Europe’ programme: Maastricht University, the Province of Limburg and the City of Maastricht.
The team examines Europe, explores the Treaty of Maastricht, and engages the public in the debate on European integration. Or as Studio Europa Maastricht itself puts it: ‘We are #WorkingonEurope.’ For the upcoming elections to the European Parliament, Studio Europa will organize a Maastricht Debate among the Lead Candidates, in short MD24.