The European Commission is turning to video-sharing website YouTube.com to disseminate information about the workings of the European Union to its citizens, through a new channel on the site called EUtube.
The EUtube channel bears the tagline "Sharing the sights and sounds of Europe." At launch, the showcased video was a 40-second animated cartoon entitled "Everyone Can Save The Planet." Other featured videos include a series entitled "And if Europe didn't exist..." and a documentary on the troubled Galileo project to build a European satellite navigation system.
The channel will carry video news releases and other video clips created to explain EU policy, said Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, spokesman for the EU commissioner for institutional relations and communications strategy. "It's part of our strategy to use the tools that people use," he said.
It will help YouTube users learn more about the workings of the EU's institutions, by leading them to information they weren't necessarily looking for. "When a user watches clips on the channel, he or she is prompted to view other clips from the same source," he said.
Users will be invited to add their comments on the video clips.
Setting up the channel has not cost the EU anything, Dowgielewicz said.
Although the European Union is keen to adopt Web 2.0 technologies to communicate with its citizens, the Commission has no plans to set up a presence in Second Life or on MySpace.com for the time being, said another spokesman.