A Short but Unforgettable and Ongoing Quest (Cyber Quest)

As a prelude to the second and final part of the series, I have decided to share my mini-adventure online in trying to get a satisfactory response to my questions regarding the European Union.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t get any.

The Quest

This summer, on July 25th Colorfulifesite Blog published a post entitled “A Few Questions for the Leaders of the United European Nations (Part 1)”. To access post, click here.

That same day, I sent an email to the European Union (EU) contact site to try my luck in getting a response. Below is the exact content of the said email:

Dear Sir,

I would like to reach out to you to ask: How inclusive is the EU of its citizens in implementing the European mission and reaching its vision?

I have written a blog post about this subject and you may access it through: https://colorfulifesite.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/a-few-questions-regarding-the-union-of-european-nations-part-1/

Thank you for your kind consideration.

The automatic reply did not waste any time acknowledging the receipt of my message, and after a few moments I received this note:

Dear Karessa Malaya Ramos Aguiñot

Thank you for contacting EUROPE DIRECT Contact Centre.

As a general rule, the EDCC should not deal with enquiries from journalists or anyone involved in the media (e.g. bloggers). The Spokesperson’s Service (SPP) is the official voice of the European Commission vis-à-vis the media. They provide information about the Commission’s political priorities and decisions to the press, organize press events and issue press material.
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/communication/about/contact_us/ec_spokespersons/index_en.htm

We hope you find this information useful.

Immediately after checking the web page, I was able to locate an assistant to one of the directors from the Spokesperson services. This was what I told her:

Good morning!

My name is Karessa and I would like to know whether you could help me direct my question to the person/team who could respond: How inclusive is the EU of its citizens in implementing the European mission and reaching its vision?

I have written a blog post about this subject and you may access it through: https://colorfulifesite.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/a-few-questions-regarding-the-union-of-european-nations-part-1/

In case contacting a person or a team proves to be complicated, I would be more than happy to receive any material (video, transcript, article, etc…) that could serve as an answer to my question/s. Thank you.
I was unaware of the existence of the SPP and have mistakenly directed this cuestion [sic] to the EDCC.

I highly appreciate your time and consideration.

After a little over 4 hours, I received a response:

Dear Karessa,
Thank you very much for your e-mail.
With this message, I would like to inform you that the Spokesperson’s Service of the European Commission deals only with requests from journalists.

Accordingly, I would suggest to contact the Europa Call Freephone: http://europa.eu/contact

I seriously considered calling the hotline, but as a full-time mother and job seeker I was not able to find a moment to do it.

And so some days passed, until I finally decided to make a social media comeback through Facebook. There, I noted down two pages that interested me the most:

  1. Guy Verhofstadt, and
  2. The European Parliament

It was the 15th of August when I decided to contact Mr Verhofstadt by sending him this message:

Dear Sir, I have tried to address a few questions to the EUROPE DIRECT Contact Center. Unfortunately, they only attend to journalists. May I kindly direct you to my blogpage so you could view the points at issue? It is: https://colorfulifesite.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/a-few-questions-regarding-the-union-of-european-nations-part-1/

Basically, I wanted to know: How inclusive is the EU of its citizens in implementing the European mission and reaching its vision? Thnak [sic] you.

I waited for the whole day to receive an acknowledgement note but none came. So, I decided to contact the EU Parliament. I simply performed a copy-paste technique, mindful of the typo at the end.

At least this latest correspondence was more of a, well, correspondence because I was corresponded with a message acknowledging their receipt of my inquiry.

Thanks for messaging us. This is an automatic reply. We try to be as responsive as possible, but we can’t guarantee a response to each message. We’ll try to get back to you soon. In the meantime we recommend checking our website europarl.eu, EP team

However, dear reader, I’m afraid that this was the first and final message I received from them at the time I am writing this post.

As you can see, I still am lacking of answers and of ideas as well. Unfortunately due to personal circumstances, I cannot yet enjoy the privilege of calling the Europa Call Freephone.

Dear reader, have you any other ideas?

Have you ever tried calling the Europa Call Freephone? will you be generous enough to share your experience?

Conclusions

1. How amusing is it that while one branch of the EU refuses to talk to journalists or other “media people” (such as bloggers), the other branch would ONLY entertain legitimate journalists (ie, NOT bloggers)?

I believe this is a very serious matter. Why? because I find the subject of legitimacy unimportant when it comes to responding very suitable questions concerning countries united economically and politically. In this case, a filter to distinguish the relevance of inquiries should be put in place, instead. This way, every concerned citizen could voice out their worry or interests. The point being, there are many press ID holders with not very engaging questions at hand (in mind) and isn’t it such a waste to disregard a thought-provoking query from people who just happened to have ideas?

There are more of them (non-media thinkers) out there whose thoughts/arguments are far more relevant and exciting than mine. It is only fair for them to be given a forum for discussion.

2. It is a wonder why the EU Parliament’s Facebook page would offer a messaging device if they have not enough resources for this service. I would fully understand if my question had been absurd or unrelated to the concerns of the Union. Yet this is not the case.

I must make a mental note to inquire peers whether they have made use of this service and what the outcome was.

3. Guy Verhofstadt is doing really badly in the Social Relations aspect of his advocacy.

My quest is not yet over. And until I get any type of response directly concerning my question (automatic replies not included), I shall not stop.

-The End-

Stay tuned for the second and last part of the series “A Few Questions for the Leaders of the United European Nations”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s