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Parliamentary question - E-004558/2011(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

The Commission continues to communicate using the traditional media but it is also exploring the social media as part of its communication mix. The value of social media lies in their potential to connect with citizens, listen and dialogue with them and access user groups that are less likely to be reached by traditional media.

The use of Twitter and Facebook complements the use of traditional media such as TV, radio and written press to inform the general public about news, policies, programmes and activities of the European Union. Depending on national, regional and local preferences, other social media platforms are used, for example Hyves in the Netherlands, Blip in Poland, or Tuenti in Spain. Several Commissioners and Departments are using Twitter and Facebook. The Commission also has three central accounts on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Regardless of the type of social media the Commission uses, the Europa website remains the reference information source for citizens, businesses and other stakeholder groups. The Commission ensures the accuracy, accessibility and relevance of information.

Social media platforms are being used to draw people's attention to relevant information on the Europa website. Hence the investment the Commission is making to continuously improve the Europa website.

The Commission does not see how its usage of a particular social medium or application can be regarded as an impediment to net neutrality. This principle prohibits the discriminatory treatment of data traffic over the Internet, but does not prevent a public institution from choosing an Internet application instead of another.

The Commission refers the Honourable Member to its answer provided to Question E‑2427/11[1].

OJ C 314 E, 27/10/2011