A cross-media communication project
A cross-media communication project

EU integration is a journey, not an event! This popular saying highlights the challenge of communicating complex processes such as EU integration. The process is usually lengthy, incredibly technical, increasingly political and set to conclude sometime in the future.

‘EU Perspective in Kosovo’, a EU-funded project, was tasked to start the engines of Kosovo’s communication journey into the EU.

It was tasked to broaden a wider public understanding of the EU and to communicate the opportunities and challenges. It was designed to stimulate a debate about EU values, to enhance the understanding of the EU integration process which would result in a clear promotion of EU perspective by key stakeholders in Kosovo.

This is a story of how this was achieved.

Route One
Film & Television: The most effective communication channel
Seven films on everyday life in Kosovo

An omnibus of stories how the EU investment affects the lives of people in communities across Kosovo. A collection of seven 24-hour snapshots from Skorobishte where a road was constructed to this mountainous village to the real-life story of a woman successfully coping with post-dramatic stress. We meet an artist who cannot make a living as his creative work is not suitably protected. A collection of stories from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community and school children and a peek into the life of a potato farmer – this is just an ordinary ‘Week in Kosovo’.

Results: Premiered in March 2012 and broadcast on several TV stations in Kosovo. 12% of Kosovans saw the films and 94% of those surveyed thought the films were informative. Screened at Dokufest 2012 in Prizren. Winner of the cinematography prize at the Adana Film Festival in Turkey.

Partner: Da’Art Picture

A road film through the eyes of Kosovo’s next generation

Rolling to Brussels is not an ordinary road film. It’s also not simply a story of Hana and Bojan – a Kosovo Albanian girl and a Kosovo Serb boy who travel across Europe with a tyre. It’s a journey to the EU. They travel from Kosovo to Brussels, they find out what EU membership entails, what work it needs and what benefits it brings – all with the relevance for Kosovo. And all through the eyes of Kosovo’s future generation.

Results: A highlight of the 2012 Europe Day coverage on RTK with a 1200+ strong following on social media as the documentary was made. At least 8% of Kosovans have seen the film and 92% of them found it entertaining and informative.

Partner: Rrota

A documentary series with a twist

What happens when two fictional characters – a journalist and a cameraman – are thrown out of a studio and told to make a documentary about real EU projects? The result is Seeing is Believing – both the highly popular pilot film and a subsequent series of 10 episodes. All dedicated to telling the story of the impact of EU investment through the eyes of those who benefit – a tomato farmer, a street artist and a local Roma band, even an MEP… but Flamur and Armend have a problem. They are in love with the same woman.

Results: The pilot’s popularity resulted in 10 shorter & thematic episodes being produced. Some 16 % of respondents saw the pilot of Seeing is Believing, with 22% seeing at least one of the 10 subsequent episodes. 91% thought the series to be entertaining and informative.

Partners: Da’Art Picture & Radio Television of Kosova

Focusing on EU-funded projects for the Serbian community

A special edition of the highly-popular ‘Seeing is Believing’ documentary film highlighting the projects for the benefit of the Serbian community in Kosovo has been produced. Using the same ‘facts meet fiction’ approach, the film takes us on a journey across Kosovo where Serbian community live and work.

Results: A special documentary film made for the Serbian community has been produced using a multi-ethnic production team. Premiered in July 2014.

Partners: Da’Art Picture & Radio Television of Kosova

Kosovo’s most popular sitcom talks about the EU

Streets across Kosovo used to be deserted on Monday evenings. Why? This was when Kosovans met in ‘Our Café’, the most popular sitcom in Kosovo, watched by half of the population, both in Kosovo and abroad. Through larger than life characters and comic situations, the (not so) serious side of the EU was brought to life – real life Kosovo problems got a European solution: from how to help Kosovo’s economic development through small grants to the protection of the environment. Even how to replace a dress that shrunk in a washing machine. Let’s meet in Our Café!

Results: 20 episodes with an EU theme scripted, filmed and broadcast. At least 62% of people in Kosovo saw at least one EU-themed episode and the approval ratings were almost 100%. Around 70% of people believed that the episodes were entertaining and informative.

Partners: CMB Productions & Radio Television of Kosovo

TV show for youngsters about environment protection

Kosovo is a country of incredible beauty but often this is overlooked. The responsibility to protect the environment is shared but the youngsters are a generation that bares an even greater responsibility. In order to equip the future generation of Kosovo with enough information about what they can practically do to become a ‘Green Generation’, a special 10-part series of the ‘Green Button’ (in both Albanian and Serbian) looks at the implications of the past behaviour and sets the trend of more sustainable and responsible actions for the future. Join us on the exciting Adventures of the Green Button Gang!

Results: 11% of respondents saw at least one of the ten episodes. A debate following the premiere of the series in January 2014 highlighted a growing concern amongst the youngsters of Kosovo, aged 12-15, with the state of the environment in Kosovo.

Partner: AgPro

A real film-making experience for young talents

‘Filming Together’ is not only a film about four youngsters of Kosovo, from both the Albanian and Serbian communities, who have been given a task to ‘Film Together’. It is a culmination of a broad-ranging effort to train the future generation of young filmmakers to be able to make better, more critical and internationally-recognisable films. It is also a story of three ‘typical’ Kosovo youngsters who are trying to find their place in an EU-focused Kosovo. It’s a meta film of a film.

Results: Premiered to an audience of 60 studnets at Prizren in co-operation with Dokufest and followed by a lively debate. Great ‘self-reflecting’ product with enough thoughts to stimulate a debate amongst the youngsters of Kosovo about their future and the future of their country.

Partner : Fil Rouge

Route Two
Education: Europe Quiz, TV films, Textbooks

Kosovo has an incredible pool of young talent. They are a source of creativity and fresh ideas. In order to tap into this, they have been challenged to a nationwide Europe Quiz competition, based on new and modern textbooks with modern teaching techniques being deployed.

EUROPE QUIZ 2011-2014
Nationwide competition on EU knowledge for students aged 12-14

It all comes to the knowledge you acquire – through school or outside. The national Europe Quiz competitions were designed to bring a splash of fun to an otherwise serious matter of getting to know the EU – both its member states and key EU policies. Emotions run high in a highly competitive quiz using a specially produced textbook ‘Let’s Head to Europe’. And the winners did indeed head to Europe.

Results: Four rounds of the Europe Quiz successfully completed. More than 600 children involved from 117 schools. In 2014, 52% of survey respondents had seen the quiz and 96% found them informative and entertaining.

Partners: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology & Radio Television of Kosovo

Following quiz winners on their journey across Europe

Twenty lucky winners of the four national Europe Quiz competitions headed to Europe to embark on a ‘journey of a lifetime’ – an 11-day trip across Europe to see in person what Europe is all about. Four documentary films captured the emotions of the winners as they saw – for the first time in person – Europe’s icons such as the Eiffel Tower and the Brandenburg Gate. They also represented Kosovo extremely well to the EU institutions – they were indeed true Ambassadors of Kosovo.

Results: Ten EU countries on four road trips were visited. Four documentaries produced showing the Young Ambassadors’ once in a lifetime experiences. Broadcast on RTV and used to promote the following year’s quiz.

Partners: Radio Television of Kosovo & Thumbz Up

Modern textbooks for primary schools with information about the EU

Designed to increase knowledge about the EU, its Member States and EU values, ‘Let’s Head to Europe’ is a modern textbook (in Albanian and Serbian) with information about the EU presented in an interactive format. First ever winners of the Europe Quiz featured prominently in ‘All Aboard for Europe’, an English-language reader designed to improve levels of English of Grades 3-5. Complementing the textbook is a DVD with the documentary story of the Europe Quiz 2011 Winners Trip.

Results: 72,000 ‘Let’s Head to Europe’ and 65,000 ‘All Aboard for Europe’ textbooks produced and distributed to 680 schools and all public libraries in Kosovo. Digital versions of both textbooks available to anyone at anytime.

Partners: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology & Ministry of European Integration

Manuals for teachers with lesson plans to improve teaching of EU integration topics

Modern textbooks require a new approach to teaching. Based on the feedback received from the teachers and the Ministry of Education, student-driven teacher manuals were produced to complement the two textbooks and to equip teachers using them as part of the optional curriculum to be up to date with the latest teaching trends. The lesson plans for each chapter means the textbooks can be used by teachers during one semester.

Results: 3,000 modern teacher manuals tested, produced and used to teach European Union issues in the Optional Curriculum.

Partner: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology

Radio: ‘Europe Today in Kosovo’ weekly news bulletin

Radio is almost exclusively local. We listen to it on the way to work or as a background whilst at home. It was therefore natural that this channel was used to independently produce and distribute an Albanian and a Serbian version of a weekly 5-minute news bulletin dedicated to EU projects – from stories on how hot water was used for the first time in the Lipjan maternity ward to challenges faced by the Kosovo LGBTI community. But as all stories are always local, radio journalists from across Kosovo received top-class training by one of Europe’s leading radio trainers.

Results: More than 160 bulletins produced & broadcast on more than 45 radio stations. 14% of people surveyed listened to the show and 92% found the bulletins informative and entertaining. Multi-ethnic editorial team of three are now trained to produce high-quality radio programmes. More than 60 local radio journalists also trained.

Partner: Kosovo Media Institute & Stratcom

Capacity Building: Stimulating debate about the EU amongst the people of Kosovo

EU integration debate is not only a debate for the political leaders. It is a debate to be held across all sectors of society – from academics and students to NGOs and local government officials. Information, communication, engagement and training are therefore vital. Strategic approach to communication and training can stimulate a qualitative debate and make EU integration a ‘project for everybody’. EU integration is indeed a ‘peoples’ project’.

Building a strategic approach to EU communication

As Kosovo moves closer on its European path, the Ministry of European Integration will play an increasingly important role in driving EU communication in Kosovo further and deeper. To assist them, a four-year ‘Destination Europe’ Communication Strategy has been drafted, as were the Social Media Guidelines, which is a guide on using social media channels in promoting EU integration. Together with a modern website, MEI can be in a driving force in regards to co-ordinating EU communication across government departments. Experience acquired during study visits to Brussels, Ljubljana and Zagreb has enabled MEI to have strong foundations to engage in a strategic, long-term, information-based communication activities.

Results: Communications Strategy and Social Media Guidelines drafted. EU Communications Forum (with line ministries) set up and running. Three study visits organised.

Training structure for the years to come

It’s important that a debate in Kosovo on the country’s EU integration path is based on facts and not myth. Certain groups of society play a natural role as EU Information Multipliers. Civil society representatives, NGOs, media, central and local government officials have therefore been trained to provide such information. Using a ‘Train the Trainers’ approach, not only has the knowledge of the multipliers increased, it has allowed new trainers to be able to train others using new and innovative approaches in the years to come. NGO members will be able to reach their members on the grassroots level more readily.

Results: Trainers trained to produce high-quality modules on EU integration issues. 350 EU Information Multipliers trained and 275 people participated in outreach events. 90-100% satisfaction on training received.

Partners: EU Information and Cultural Centres, local NGOs across Kosovo, Municipalities

Media as the most trusted source of EU information

Journalists are one of the most trusted sources of EU information in Kosovo but they also lack in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the EU structures. Improving the media’s understanding of the EU was therefore a vital element of the project. Meeting the needs of the journalists, training retreats and study visits were organised. In order to encourage a debate within Kosovo about the country’s EU perspective, two influential newspapers were engaged to publish opinion pieces related to Kosovo’s EU perspective and to stimulate a factual and unbiased debate.

Results: Four journalists retreats completed. 67% of participants said the training sessions were appropriate, very informative and relevant for their future work. Study tour to Brussels for Journalists reporting on EU completed. 78 opinion pieces about the EU and Kosovo published.

Partner: Association of Kosovo Journalists, Zëri & Koha Ditore newspapers

Women’s Outreach: Empowering Women of Kosovo

Women play a crucial role in every society but their role is often overlooked. In order to equip women with enough knowledge about the role they play in relation to Kosovo’s EU integration and a wider role they play in a society, a three-part strategy was designed and implemented, using new and innovative approaches to reaching women of all walks of life across Kosovo.

Special episode of popular series discusses women empowerment

Building upon the success of ‘Seeing is Believing’, a special episode was dedicated to empowerment of women, showcasing how it is possible to impact upon the existing patterns in Kosovo by having a strong will, courage and enough information. When scripted, the authors never believed that a fictional scene – Kosovo electing a first female mayor – would actually become a reality so quickly.

Results: Highly popular episode broadcast on RTK with a debate about the role of women in a modern society. Excellent communication tool used as the ‘ice breaker’ at outreach events.

Partner: Da’Art Picture

A cooking show with a twist

It might seem unusual to use a highly-popular cooking show with an opinionated hostess to communicate EU integration topics. However, four episodes of Kosovo’s No. 1 cooking show were filmed with people ‘in the know’ about the EU, including MEP Tanja Fajon and former European Integration Minister Vlora Citaku. The discussion was – of course – not only about food but also about the issues that are close to hearts of women across Kosovo.

Results: Four episodes dedicated exclusively to wide ranging EU-related topics broadcast on the most popular cooking show in Kosovo. Informed women across sectors of society and regions of Kosovo. Many requests for more EU information received. Xheraldina Vula has pledged to continue raising EU Integration topics in her future shows.

Partner: Radio Television 21

Meeting women on the grassroots level

As a ‘cherry on the cake’, special events were organised in a close co-operation with women NGOs on the grassroots level in order to reach into the hearts and minds of women of all walks of life.

Results: Five Women Outreach Events held in Prizren, Obiliq/Obilič, Viti/Vitina, Podujevë/Podujevo and Drenas with over 125 women attending the events and participating in a wide-ranging debate.

Partner: Women NGOs across Kosovo

Special Activities

Effective planning is the basis of any successful communication project. Special events aimed at raising awareness about the EU to different target groups have been supported throughout the project, including:

  • ‘Play for All’ festival: Educational activities aimed at children outside Pristina
  • ‘Children drawing competition’ on the topic of gender equality: design and implementation of an educational final event for all participants Commission-led worldwide competition
  • Zvečan Jazz Festival: a boutique-feel festival in the North of Kosovo trying to overcome a division of the country
  • EU Week: Support to EU Office’s activities to mark 9 May - Europe Day
  • Let’s Do it Kosova 2012: Design of a wide-ranging communication strategy for Kosovo’s first ‘Let’s clean-up Kosovo in one day’ event
See you in the EU
an EU-funded project

Managed by: EU Office in Kosovo

Implemented by: A consortium led by Consulting & Management Ltd (C&M)

Beneficiary: Ministry of European Integration & people of Kosovo

May 2010 – August 2014

For more information, please contact

On-line presentation: FilRouge (concept, production), Studio8 (design)