Alessandro Giordani is head of the Citizens' Contact unit in DG COMM, responsible for Europe Direct Information Centres (EDICs). He and his team have been working on a new, more proactive generation of EDICs, focused on more engagement with civil society.
EDICs are one of the main channels of information about the EU for European citizens with the overall objective of providing citizens with easy access to information about the EU and its activities. While they are not part of the Commission, they have a duty to present the image, policies and debates around European issues in an objective way.
The latest generation of EDICs launched on 1 January and will run for three years. A new feature of this generation is a shift from a static concept of outreach efforts where the EDIC is a receiver of information requests, to a proactive approach where it engages with civil society. This may include organising debates and encouraging people to talk and develop European public opinion. Some EDICs may also be willing to organise Citizens' Dialogues or transnational pilot projects, bringing together EDICs from either side of a border. The current generation is especially important because it will cover crucial times like the electoral campaign for the European elections and, as a consequence, an intense debate on the future of the Union. An innovation being considered for the next generation is to involve a number of EDICs belonging to the same cross-border region in organising recurrent debates with civil societies in that area.
For more information on EDICs in your country, visit: https://europa.eu/european-union/contact/meet-us_en