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The Burson-Marsteller consulting agency in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepared three reports summarizing the Polish Presidency in the Council of the European Union:
Below you will find excerpts of reports dealing with the cultural dimension of the Polish Presidency.
Re: 1. The results of the surveys.
According to a report based on questionnaires and phone calls all test groups gave a high assessment of the Polish Presidency (over 75% of responses). It was praised for communication, leadership and cooperation with the EU institutions. In the opinion of most respondents the promotion of Polish culture was one of the areas in which the Presidency has demonstrated the highest efficiency. This element was pointed out by the European Commission as well as the Polish community working in the EU institutions.
Re: 2. Report on the image of the Presidency in Polish media.
On the basis of media materials collected during the period July 2011 – December 2011 and devoted to the subject of the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union a report was prepared summarizing and systematizing obtained information.
Thematically, concentration on three topics is noticeable: the programme and objectives of the Presidency, meetings and conferences, and the cultural programme. 68 percent of media messages concerned these three subjects. The first two have dominated the television while the third one – the cultural programme appeared more often in newspapers.
According to the report media reacted most enthusiastically to the prepared on the occasion of the Presidency cultural programme. The highest number of positive comments concerned this topic.
The materials were also looked through with the focus on the events of the Polish Presidency. In terms of number of publications dominated the inauguration of the Presidency (789 materials), and the second was a speech by Prime Minister Donald Tusk at the European Parliament (415). Last place on the podium belongs to the end of the Presidency (309). Also, in this group very few negative messages appeared (only 3 percent of the publications concerning events), while a quarter of the publications was positive.
Messages of the Polish TV channels (TVP Info, TVP1 and TVP2) were looked at in detail. In total, 1212 emissions were found, most of them in the news channel. The majority of the messages concerned meetings and conferences, fewer – the programme of the Presidency. Third most popular topic was the cultural program. Among the events top three coincide with the order for all the collected materials (inauguration, Prime Minister's speech at the European Parliament, the end of the Presidency).
The report shows that the attractive Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency managed to interest a variety of media representatives. The Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency contributed to the positive perception of the Presidency, the host cities, events, organizers and Poland.
The event to which the report devotes a separate section is the European Culture Congress, held in September in Wroclaw. The event attracted a significant number of media materials, many of them very positive. Journalists reported on exhibitions, films, concerts, performances and discussions on art, and, together with the participants of the event, wondered whether high culture must be seen as a “difficult, boring, elitist”. Interestingly, media materials about the European Culture Congress were not merely reports. They became a contribution to the debate on cultural issues. One of the mentioned objectives of the congress was bringing high culture to the average recipient. It was also mentions that the projects proposed by the congress had an interdisciplinary character, and that the organizers put special emphasis on diversity. It is the heterogeneity that could have contributed to the interest in the programme of different groups of recipients. The journalists stressed the importance of the event with the words of Zygmunt Bauman, who gave a lecture inaugurating the European Culture Congress: “The political future of Europe depends on the fate of European culture and the fate of culture depends on how far we are able to recognize diversity as an asset rather than a burden.”
Re: 3. Report on the image of the Presidency in European media.
The issues raised by the European media in the context of the Polish Presidency mainly concerned: Euro-zone crisis, the Eastern Partnership, MFF and Economic Growth, Environment and Durban. The European press noticed, however, the European Culture Congress.
The Independent: “Organised to mark Poland's Presidency of the EU (…) this multi-media jamboree gathered writers, thinkers artists and musicians from across the continent. They joined in an uncompromising celebration of cultural renewal.” (Boyd Tonkin, Can writers and artists rescue idealism?)