We're looking forward to a debate this evening in Brussels to look at the themes thrown up by our new book: "The hard sell: EU communication policy and the campaign for hearts and minds."
It should be quite good fun, especially because the EU Commission has raised the stakes by sending slanderous emails about Open Europe to the Swedish press.
In a very underhand move, the office of EU Communications Commissioner Margot Wallstrom has sent a highly political email to the Swedish media, dismissing Open Europe's book and trying to caricature us as being "to the right of the British Conservatives."
They also told the office of one Swedish MEP (of the left) that we are run by UKIP. All of this is nothing short of slander. Especially given the context - in Sweden British Conservatives are perceived to be to the right of Swedish conservatives - so the implication that we are 'extremists' who should not be heeded is clear.
It is also pretty ironic given that part of our book actually criticises the Commission for doing just this – sending out politically-charged press releases to specifically targeted sections of the press. You may remember they did something similar when they sent a press release to the Irish media blaming an over-reliance of the British press for the Irish 'no' vote.
This has got nothing to do with “trying to reach out to citizens” and “inform them about EU policies” - which is what the Commission claims its communications policy is about - and everything to do with trying to control its image and limit dissenting voices. This is just the latest example of how the Commission behaves like a campaign group - squandering public money as it goes.