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The EU Propaganda Machine

Government propaganda is always irritating, especially because that means politicians are taxing citizens to pay for a snow job for those same citizens.  The European Union is no different than the U.S. in this regard.  The group Open Europe has published a new study detailing EU propaganda efforts:
Open Europe has published new research which shows that the European Union is spending billions of euros a year promoting itself and its central aim of 'ever closer union'. In 2008 alone, it spent more than 2.4 billion euros. That is more than Coca Cola spends on advertising each year, worldwide. As well as a sophisticated information and communication strategy designed to 'sell' the EU and its political message, the EU also spends billions of euros a year on efforts to engender a common European culture and citizenship, with the explicit aim of increasing people's attachment to the EU project. The EU pours hundreds of millions of euros a year into think-tanks and lobby groups which promote its policies and campaign for further EU integration, and many of its efforts are directed very deliberately at young people. In the book, "The hard sell: EU communication policy and the campaign for hearts and minds", Open Europe shows how EU information policy is geared not towards providing neutral, balanced information, but towards trying to convince people to support EU integration. It reveals how even the most innocuous-sounding cultural projects funded by the EU are designed to promote European integration, and argues that, at best, all this is an enormous waste of time and money.
What makes the EU's campaign even more pernicious is the fact that officials are working overtime to prevent average citizens from having any say in the character of the EU government.  Of 27 member states, only Ireland allowed its citizens to vote on the so-called Lisbon Treaty, which create a more consolidated continental government in Brussels.  Majorities in every other member say they would like a similar opportunity, but the Eurocratic elite have no intent ion of allowing anyone else to have a say.  Indeed, as I detail in National Interest online, the Eurocrats are busy scheming on how to overturn the Irish "no" vote, which threatens to upend their best-laid plans. The EU's future is up to Europeans, not Americans.  But the former should wonder about a government so determined to prevent the public from having any voice in its own affairs.