The Financial Times reports on the European Union’s attempts to rebrand. There is a perceived need to improve the EU’s image following last year’s rejection of the EU Constitution by France and the Netherlands. The branding gurus haven’t been kind. Simon Anholt has compared the EU to al-Qaeda, arguing that the Member States are seen as ‘separate cells inspiring each other but no overall control’. Echoing the theme, Rolf Annerberg, chief of staff to Margot Wallström, the EU’s communications commissioner claimed:
‘The EU has a brand but it is competing with 25 national brands…It is very seldom you use them as a unit. The Ryder Cup golf that plays against the US is about the only case’.Likewise, John Wyles, of consultants G-Plus Europe, said:
‘You cannot reach the citizen from Brussels. You are dependent on national politicians’.The IPKat reckons that the way to improve the EU’s ‘brand image’ is for the EU to deliver results. Merpel notes that the problem that seems to be being identified is that the Member States have their own identities. The surefire way to dispense with this problem is to dispense with the Member States’ sovereignty, but she suspects that this won’t do much to improve the EU’s reputation.
STOP PRESS: The EU has denied that there is any official mandate for branding consultants to consider the issue of rebranding the EU - read more here.