DG CONNECT’s Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

3 / 2013
Mark Verheyden
Julia Glidden

How do we ensure that public policy represents the interests of all, rather than a select few? How will we ensure it draws upon the best insights and talents of key stakeholders? The European Commission’s DG CONNECT recently announced the results of its Stakeholder Engagement Survey, which is designed to ‘provide empirical results and feedback about existing practices and signal gaps and challenges for action in the area of stakeholder engagement.’ (Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, Stakeholders Unit D4, 2013, p.4). The survey launched a new round of reflection on the Commission’s relations with its stakeholders by asking respondents to reflect on the way in which they interact with DG CONNECT. The strategic objective is to see how ICTs can be used in novel ways to enhance support for policymaking from stakeholders in the EU. The Stakeholder Engagement Survey makes a start at answering critical questions about use of ICT as a tool to build ‘smarter policy’ as part of DG CONNECT’s wider step toward defining a strategy for stakeholder engagement. This IES Policy Brief welcomes this current work-in-progress, and outlines some of the challenges that may await the European Commission as it seeks to exploit the full potential of ICT in stakeholder engagement. It provides an initial analysis of the results of this first Stakeholder Engagement Survey, and concludes that whilst many things have changed with regards to tools that policymakers can use to elicit input into policymaking, certain challenges have remained very much the same.