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Club of Venice in Vilnius

11 June 2018

The spring session of the Club of Venice was held on 7-8 June in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Italy was represented by a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two-day event was attended by over 100 participants from 24 countries (EU Member States and candidate countries), EU institutions and bodies, NATO, and public communication specialists.

The event was introduced by Linas Linkevičius, Lithuanian Foreign Minister, and Stefano Rolando, Honorary President of the Club of Venice. “For over thirty years,” Rolando explained, “this table has been showing the good work of a European subject that acts at low cost and high performance, trying to professionally harmonise areas that show convergences and marked distinctions. Public communication carried out in an ethical manner can provide great services to the transition and regeneration phase that Europe is now experiencing, notably if performance guidelines take more account of citizens' expectations and needs.”

The extensive and interesting programme essentially revolved around the following crucial issues for those currently in charge of “communicating Europe”:

  1. Regaining citizens' trust: A public communication challenge

 The first session focussed on the campaign in the run-up to the 2019 European elections, compatibility between EU and national agendas, lessons learned from opinion polls, and ways to involve civil society more closely (participatory democracy).

  1. Hybrid threats”: Focus on countering disinformation, propaganda and fake news – A common endeavour

 The topics of the afternoon session were the identification and countering of fake news in the international communication scene, as well as ongoing collaborations between governments and institutions on this front. The follow-up to the London Charter, adopted by the Club at the StratCom seminar held in London on 17 March 2017, was also discussed.

Upon conclusion of the session, the Charter on Societal Resilience to Disinformation and Propaganda in a Challenging Digital Landscape was approved.

  1. Capacity/Capability building and application of the Nudge Theory

The second day was dedicated to the training of public communicators and professional toolkits, and to experiences of applying the “Nudge Theory” to improve citizens' satisfaction, in continuity with the discussion opened in Venice in the 2017 autumn plenary.

At the end of the session, a Charter on Capacity/Capability Building was adopted.

A follow-up will be the subject of the autumn plenary session of the Club of Venice, which will be held in Venice on 22-23 November 2018.  

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