Treasure hunt in European Strasbourg

Posted by Miroslav Hajnos on 01/02/13

In 2009, after one lecture on my study stay in Finland I had a discussion with my professor who said:  “We should realize that a couple of centuries ago what made people rich was their possesion of lands. During the WWII it was industry, but nowadays it is information that counts as wealth.” In the last 20 years the technical progress ensured easier access to information.  In 1989 in an European laboratory for Particle Physics CERN in Geneva a hypertext information system called WWW has been created. One would think that the information revolution would allow people to get all the available sources of knowledge. Indeed it did, but people got lost in the massive amount of information and misinformation.

During September 2012 we lounched a survey where, in less than two weeks, we recieved more than 2,200 responses, mostly from young people between 16 to 26 years. One of the questions was:
Do you think that the national media inform the public adequatly on European issues?

And I was impressed by the results. 195 respondents said: “do not know”, 353 respondents reported:”sufficiently” and 1660 respondents said “insufficiently”, which represents 75 per cent of all participants of the survey.

This percentage is very hight. I was thinking about where the problem could be as all the information is on the internet and everyone has an access to it. Just have a look on the websites of the Information Office of European Parliament or the European Commission Representation which are regularly updated. We also have Euractiv, purely focused on European affairs, as well as national news. After many discussions, I came to the realization that the information might not be adequately served to people and especially young people. I assume,  that if it were more attractive for them, they would be more interested in it.

And so arose an iniciative or inspiration that I named “Treasure hunt in European Strasbourg.”

Next Plenary session of the European Parliament will be held on 4 to 7 February 2013 where various interesting topics will be discussed. Such as the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls; corporate social responsibility (CSR): responsible and transparent corporate behavior and sustainable development; relations between the EU and China, a dialogue in the interest of a peaceful solution of the Kurdish issues in Turkey, and risk and safety assessments of nuclear power stations in the European Union.  One of the major figures who will attend the meeting is the French President François Holland, who will open Tuesday’s afternoon session with a ceremonial speech.

I will be a part of the Slovak press team as a Slovak blogger at this meeting. Directly from the heart of European Parliament I will be bringing you all the information from plenary sessions, debates, but also from formal an informal discussions with MP’s.  All of this information will be from a perspective of a young person and I will try to inform you on some back stage curiosities and interesting facts.The information will be in short  140 character messages on the Twitter platform.  You can respond immidiately on all of the messages.  Hashtag is # ED_Live.

Tweets by @miroslavhajnos

The whole journey will start this Sunday morning (2 February 2013) when I leave for Strasbourg.  My goal is to bring functioning of European Parliament to the young people.  To achieve this goal as efficiently as possible, I would like to ask you to share this project through social networks, emails or during informal discussions over coffee.

If you get to the information in this way, it means that the treasure in European Strasbourg has been found.

Miroslav Hajnoš

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