Giving an eventful dimension to European political life
French MP and chair of the European Affairs Committee at the French National Assembly, Sabine Thillaye, speaks about her report on the coverage of Europe by the French media.
You also mentioned a status for journalists specialising in European affairs. What are the long-term objectives? Should there be a status of "European journalist"?
In order to improve the quality of the information provided by journalists, it seems necessary that they be encouraged to deal with and analyse European subjects in a relevant way, which implies appropriate training modules upstream. In the longer term, we should also think about the creation of a European school of journalism, dedicated to the training of European press correspondents. Furthermore, the French "Louise Weiss" prize, which rewards French-speaking journalists engaged in in-depth coverage of European issues, could be transposed to the European level. The status of "European journalist" would make it possible to grant certain professional facilities.
How can we think about new forms of information on European issues?
In particular, it is necessary to ensure that the European Union puts itself on stage, in order to show that it can deliver a real "political narrative". We need to give an eventful dimension to European political life to make it closer to the citizens and more understandable. For example, the online newspaper Politico, which specialises in covering European affairs, has shown that it is possible to talk about the European Union and its current affairs in a different way by deciphering its issues and staging its debates. On a more institutional level, parliamentary control over European affairs should be strengthened in order to give journalists more material. In this sense, we propose to replace the question time to the government preceding the most important meetings of the European Council by a formal debate followed by a vote. This type of debate would allow the National Representation to be more involved in the monitoring of European policy. Finally, the role of the European Affairs Committee could be enhanced by making it a standing committee, regularly involved in the implementation of European texts in national law.
Read the full interview with Sabine Thillaye on the Mouvement Démocrate's website