Communicating with Europe

Communicating with Europe

Evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the European Direct Contact Centre.


11 October 2010

The Tavistock Institute and GHK, as part of the European Policy Evaluation Consortium (EPEC) have recently conducted an ‘Evaluation of the European Direct Contact Centre (EDCC)’.

The evaluation was commissioned by DG Communication of the European Commission and is within the Framework Contract of DG Budget.

The EDCC is a part of the European Commission public information and communication policy. The EDCC aims to provide coherent information to citizens in the Member States about the European Union and its policies so that they feel adequately informed about the European Union. The EDCC’s main task is to answer questions from the public concerning general information on the European Union’s activities and policies, as well as to guide and advise citizens towards the sources of information so it best meets their needs.

The study evaluated the ability of the EDCC to address the information needs of the European Public with regards to information about Europe. The evaluation specially examined the effectiveness and efficiency of the EDCC; the visibility of the EDCC; the level of awareness of the service among target audiences and its reach into the public sphere; as well as how EDCC contributes to wider Commission agendas to inform and communicate the EU to European citizens.

The study used qualitative and quantitative methods and tools including, consultations with EDCC staff and DG COMM; consultations with internal users across different DGs in the Commission; an organisational review; focus groups; user surveys; benchmarking with similar contact centres; a desk review of the EDCC and analysis of monitoring and raw data; web visibility and mapping of promotional activities; and an IT audit.

The results of the evaluation are planned to be used to improve the quality of the EDCC and its services to current users as well as to assist the European Commission to tailor its communication actions and services to relevant target groups. In addition the evaluation will be used to increase visibility of the EDCC for the general public and specific audiences and to improve and increase EDCC services to other Commission DG’s.

The evaluation provides a number of recommendations in order to enhance the visibility and promotion of EDCC; to improve services to external users of EDCC; to improve services to DGs who use EDCC; to increase the efficiency of the services; as well as providing strategic considerations.

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