February 13, 2014 The Burson-Marsteller BlogEurope Decides: Following Europe’s Year of Change Posted By Burson-Marsteller Europe Decides is a thought leadership initiative launched by Burson-Marsteller Brussels to follow Europe’s year of change – including the European Parliament elections and the selection of new presidents of the European Commission and European Council, new European commissioners, and a new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Our Europe Decides team is being led by David O’Leary, and includes David Earnshaw, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Brussels, Daphne Cafritz and Chiara Gaudenzi-Morandi. In May 2014, Europe’s citizens will elect a new European Parliament, beginning a process that also leads to the selection of new Presidents of the European Commission and European Council. The decisions made in 2014 will have a major impact on businesses and citizens across Europe, setting the course for European policy for the rest of the decade. From the Europe Decide team’s conversations with clients and contacts in Brussels, they found that there was a lot of interest about the changes in 2014 but a lack of understanding about the process and timing. The aim of the initiative is to communicate the complex changes in a clear and interesting way that demystifies the complex process for a politically-engaged audience. In September 2013, the team launched the Europe Decides website (http://europedecides.eu). The comprehensive website serves as the communication hub for news, information on the election process, candidates and parties, and infographics. The site also features a weekly roundup of elections news and analytical articles written by political and communications experts in Brussels and from across Europe. The team also launched social media accounts for Europe Decides, including YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest and a highly followed Twitter account, @EuropeDecides. Between July 2013 and January 2014, the @EuropeDecides account gained 1,500 followers, and is expected to hit the 2,000 mark for Twitter followers this week. The initiative is also being supported by a number of other tactics, including events, partnerships, communications materials, and media placements. Next week, the team will hold an event to launch PollWatch 2014, a project that will track opinion polls from across Europe ahead of the European Parliament elections in May. Europe Decides has become one of the key resources for news and analysis on the changes in the EU in 2014. The initiative will continue to develop in 2014, providing up-to-the-minute news and analysis of Europe’s year of change.