Dublino, l’agenda della plenaria del Club di Venezia (19-21 giugno 2024) – Intervento introduttivo del presidente del CdV Stefano Rolando (IT/EN)

Iveagh House (Ministero degli Affari Esteri dell’Irlanda, Dublino)

Lo stesso palazzo (allora abitazione di Benjamin Lee Guiness) nel 1962

Club of Venice (CoV) Plenary Meeting

20-21 June 2024


Meeting languages: French and English (interpretation provided)

MEETING VENUE: Department of Foreign Affairs, Iveagh House,

79-80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

Wednesday, 19 June 2024

– 17:00: Depart Department of Foreign Affairs, 79-80 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

– 17.30: Visit to Google HQ + Welcome reception

– 19:30: Cultural event in the city centre: 30-years Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre

PLENARY MEETING – Thursday, June 20th 2024 (9:00 – 17:00)

08:45 – 09:15 Guests’ registration

9:15 – 09:45 Opening Session

Welcome statements – representatives of the hosting Irish authorities and the European Institutions

  • Joe HACKETT, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Mary KEENAN, Assistant Secretary, Department of the Taoiseach
  • Fionnuala CROKER, Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland

9:45 – 10:00 Key address – objectives of the plenary

  • Stefano ROLANDO, President of the Club of Venice

10:00 – 11:00 PLENARY SESSION I

Digital innovation and storytelling: challenges and opportunities for governmental and institutional communicators


  • Landing our messages in a saturated online marketplace: how do we engage audiences across the most popular platforms?
  • The likely impact of Artificial Intelligence on governmental and institutional communication strategies
  • Telling our stories globally and fighting disinformation in an era of social media
  • Measuring public audiences’ sentiment through social media sentiment analysis: trustworthy sources
  • Fighting disinformation


  • Paul GLEESON, Director of Communications, Department of Foreign

Affairs, Ireland


Representatives from the tech / social media industry

  • Claire DILÉ, X, Director for Government Affairs for Europe
  • Lara LEVET, Meta, Public Policy Manager for EU Affairs
  • Emilija KILINSKAITĖ, Lithuania, Acting Head of StratCom, Ministry of Foreign Afffairs
  • Aude MAIO-COLICHE, Director, Strategic Communications and Foresight, European External Action Service (EEAS)

11:00 – 11:30 coffee break

11:30 – 12:45 PART TWO – Break-out panels:


Capacity building: strengthening governmental and institutional Infrastructures

Digital innovations’ impact on crisis management and crisis communication


  • Simon PIATEK, Head of Digital, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


  • Jessica CUPELLINI, Italy, Head of the StratCom Unit, Department for Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
  • Paula REJKIEWICZ, Head of the StratCom Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland
  • Ewelina JELENKOWSKA-LUCA, Head of the “Communication” Unit, European Commission DG CNECT
  • Yves STEVENS, Belgium, Chairperson, IPCR Crisis Communicator’s Network, National Crisis Center (TBC)
  • Laure VAN HAUWAERT, Director, European Institutions, WPP


Cooperation with independent platforms and scientific communities

Investing in education: enhancing cooperation with IT experts, researchers and advanced media

Ethical and behavioural principles in on line communication


  • Vincenzo LE VOCI, Secretary-General of the Club of Venice


  • Virginia PADOVESE, NewsGuard, Managing Editor & Vice President, Partnerships, Europe, Australia and New Zealand (on line)
  • Carys WHOMSLEY, Digitalis, Director, Digital Risk; Head of Research and Thought Leadership
  • Nikos PANAGIOTOU, Professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (on line)
  • Christian SPAHR, Founder and Steering Committee Member of the South East Europe Public Sector Communication Association (SEECOM)

12:45 – 12:55 Address by Barbara NOLAN, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Ireland

12:55 – 13:00 Family picture

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 Depart Iveagh House for Government Buildings

Afternoon Venue: Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings, Dublin 2

14:15 – 15:45 PLENARY SESSION II

Communicating against mis-and disinformation surrounding the climate agenda”

 Climate change in progress, environmental turbulences and loss of biodiversity: state of play

Countering misinformation and disinformation around the green agenda in an increasingly polarised society: re-building public trust

The effectiveness of pre-bunking and inoculation

Role of governments, media and non-governmental actors

Setting and communicating realistic goals (UNCCC COP-28: addressing and interacting with citizens ex-ante and ex-post)


  • Carlotta ALFONSI, policy analyst, open governance, civic space and public communication unit, innovative, digital and open governance division (INDIGO), Public Governance Directorate, OECD


  • Paolo CARIDI, Head of the Communication Unit, European Commission DG Climate Action
  • Dr. Eileen CULLOTY, Assistant Professor in the School of Communications and deputy director of the DCU Institute for Media, Democracy, and Society
  • Tom SHELDON, Senior Press Manager, Science Media Center, nUnited Kingdom (on line)
  • Laura CAVALLO, Italy, Director-General, Department for European Affairs, Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Matt ANDREWS, Head of Communications – Climate Change, Rural Affairs, Welsh government
  • Dr. Cesare BUQUICCHIO and Dr. Francesco GESUALDO, University of Pisa, CRESP Project (social media infodemics and impact on public health)
  • Elena SAVOIA, Deputy Director, Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA
  • Verena RINGLER, Director, AGORA European Green Deal (on line) Q&A session

15:45 – 16:15 coffee break

16:15 – 17:00 First day summing-up – issues emerged (Club Steering Group member + Irish representative)

19:30 Bus for Guinness Storehouse departs Iveagh House (79-80 St. Stephen’s Green)

20:00 (TBC) Reception and Networking Opportunity – Guinness Storehouse, St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8


Friday, June 21st 2024 (9:30-13:00)

Venue: Department of Foreign Affairs, Iveagh House, 79-80 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

09:00 – 09:30 Guests’ registration

9:30 – 12:30 ROUND TABLE on “Lessons learned from the communication strategies and information campaigns for the European elections 2024 and the way forward

First ex-post assessment of the effectiveness of the EU institutions and Member States communication campaign for the European Parliament elections: what worked well and room for improvement

Public opinion and media monitoring: ex-ante expectations vs. concrete figures: the role of the key actors: analysis of interaction, media’s responsibilities, liaisons with civil society organisations;

the role of multipliers Analysing the added value of new technologies and the involvement of young people during the communication campaign


  •  Vincenzo LE VOCI, Secretary-General of the Club of Venice  Key-Note speaker:
  • Philipp SCHULMEISTER, Director for Campaigns, European Parliament, DG Communication


  • Art O’LEARY, CEO, Electoral Commission, Ireland, former Secretary-General to the President
  • Alessandra DE MARCO, Italy, Director-General of the Public Information and Communication Office, Department for Information and Publishing, Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Paula REJKIEWICZ, Head of the StratCom Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland
  • Jens MESTER, Head of Unit, interinstitutional relations, corporate contracts and EDCC and communication coordinator for the European elections 2024, European Commission DG COMM
  • Paula GORI, Secretary-General and Coordinator of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) (on line)

11:00 – 11:30 coffee break

  • Maja MAZURKIEWICZ, Co-founder & Head of StratComm, Alliance4Europe, Munich, Germany
  • Anthony ZACHARZEWSKI, President of The Democratic Society
  • Nikola HOŘEJŠ, Director of the International Affairs Programme, STEM Institute, Czechia

12:30 – 13:00 Closing Session

Reflections on the issues emerged during the plenary meeting (Club of Venice and hosting Irish authorities)

Planning for 2nd semester 2024 – 1st semester 2025 key-events:

  • Seminar on public diplomacy and country branding /country reputation (in cooperation with the Belgian Government authorities) Brussels, end September (dates to be defined)
  • Autumn 2024 plenary (Venice, 5-6 December)
  • 8th Stratcom seminar (in cooperation with the UK GCSI)
  • London, March 2025 (dates to be defined)
  • Spring 2025 plenary (dates and place to be defined)
  • Work in synergy with international partner organizations (OECD, ICMPD, Council of Europe, SEECOM, SEEMO, DEMSOC, CAP’COM, Harvard/Ca’ Foscari, HSS…)

Intervento di apertura

Stefano Rolando (Presidente del Club di Venezia) – IT

Cari amici e colleghi, un saluto caloroso a tutti voi e alle personalità che hanno voluto prendere parte a questo importante meeting realizzato a Dublino, con la fervida collaborazione dei colleghi irlandesi. Sono molti anni che manco da Dublino.  Anzi,  vi mostro un‘immagine dell’ultima occasione, in quel 1995 in cui – allora come direttore generale alla Presidenza del Consiglio del governo italiano – aprii qui a Dublino una mostra storica dell’editoria italiana e come vedete fu addirittura la presidente della Repubblica d’Irlanda, la signora Mary Robinson, illustre personalità che ha dato poi molti contributi internazionali all’Europa, ad essere presente a quella inaugurazione.

Il tema dell’incidenza dell’innovazione digitale nel nostro campo di applicazioni professionali è all’ordine del giorno dei lavori. E lo è con le “avvertenze” più volte affiorate nelle discussioni sviluppate nei nostri in contri.

La prima riguarda le finalità della mission. Le strutture di comunicazione pubblica e soprattutto quelle di comunicazione istituzionale hanno il problema di essere ancorate alle ragioni costituzionali delle istituzioni democratiche: al cui cuore stanno alcune funzioni. Ne dico tre usando parole simboliche: spiegare, accogliere, partecipare,

·       La spiegazione è una specializzazione sociale. Vuol dire mettersi in seria posizione di analisi delle condizioni differenziate di comprensione dei cittadini e mediare – linguaggi, format, prestazioni –  per raggiungere destinatari con soluzioni adeguate alla riduzione di qualunque tipo di disuguaglianza.

·       L’accoglienza è tecnica di un marketing altrettanto sociale. Non destinato a vendere, ma a fornire opportunità. La gerarchia delle prestazioni parte naturalmente dalle condizioni di crisi, ma è sempre attenta anche alle condizioni di sviluppo e di acculturazione civile.

·       La partecipazione non si misura con i voti e nemmeno con un generico consenso. Si misura con la cultura della valutazione del “valore aggiunto”.

Questa – detta in “pillole” – è la ragione per cui abbiamo sempre inteso il processo della digitalizzazione dei processi comunicativi (necessario, con esigenze finanziario e formative prioritarie) uno straordinario mezzo, non il fine ultimo della missione.

La seconda avvertenza riguarda l’orientamento consapevole agli aspetti di contraddizione dell’evoluzione complessiva della comunicazione che si colloca nel rapporto tra istituzioni e cittadini in cui la confusione tra vero e falso è tornata a dominare lo scenario, è infatti oggetto di nuovi dibattiti regolamentativi e entra in modo forte anche negli aspetti deontologici dell’operatore di comunicazione pubblica. Come tutti sapete uno dei maggiori sociologi europei viventi, Jürgen Habermas, ha ritenuto necessario – ultranovantenne ma sempre lucido e analitico – tornare con un testo di aggiornamento sul concetto di “sfera pubblica”, che fu il contributo suo e della Scuola di Francoforte sessanta anni fa, proprio attorno agli aspetti manipolatori sistemici che fanno tornare il nesso vero/falso non diverso da quello che trasformò l’Europa  e il mondo nella prima metà del Novecento.

La terza avvertenza riguarda il sistema relazionale della comunicazione istituzionale.
Abbiamo avuto pochissimo tempo fa a Strasburgo un’occasione di incontro (Club di Venezia in collaborazione con l’associazione francese Cap Com) – molto vivo quanto a contenuti e a qualità dei contributi, alcuni dei quali tornano nel programma qui a Dublino in cui, su questo argomento, si sono fatti passi avanti metodologici.

È evidente che nell’ambito della comunicazione pubblica, la comunicazione istituzionale si deve necessariamente misurare con la comunicazione politica.

·       Deve convergere perché la gestione delle istituzioni ha un momento tecnico e un momento politico.

·       Ma proprio per questo finisce anche molto per confliggere. Perché le invasioni campo esistono. Perché la diversa ragione del comunicare (anche tra la stessa autorità politica che guida protempore l’istituzione e l’apparato che rende non certo in modo anonimo le sue prestazioni) vi è complementarità ma vi è anche rischio di frizionamento.

Questo capitolo è delicato, in evoluzione. Ci sono casi in Europa di netta separazione, ci sono casi di netta confusione. È importante tenere aperto il tema ma è difficile trovare punti di equilibrio nuovi. Quello che è certo, tuttavia, è che l’effetto combinato delle situazioni di crisi, delle situazione di transizione e delle situazione di complementarità di competenze, apre un campo di relazioni importante tra la comunicazione istituzionale, la comunicazione sociale e la comunicazione di impresa. Per temi, per aree territoriali, per obiettivi mirati e coerenti anche i processi legislativi.

E’ evidente che le dinamiche riferite alla digitalizzazione presentano tue e tre le caratteristiche citate, perché la natura del tema è l’innovazione e l’innovazione è cambiamento. Dunque abbandona, modifica, separa.

È così per le situazioni di crisi, È così per definizione per le situazioni di transizione. È così’ per la domanda sociale che si fa più urgente oggi attorno a temi immensi: la sicurezza, la disuguaglianza, la povertà, l’analfabetismo,

Questo quadro di relazioni potrebbe essere anche promosso da noi, in alcune occasioni. Già lo stiamo facendo, talvolta.  Ma ragioniamoci. Troviamo occasioni Una, proprio all’ordine del giorno oggi, riporta al tema del cambiamento climatico e il suo impatto su migrazioni, salute pubblica ed economia, di cui si parlerà tra poco e che è un eccellente esempio di incrocio e transizioni, in cui le voci istituzionali, sociali e di impresa sono complementari

Non scelgo altri argomenti per ondare fuori misura. Auguro al Parlamento europeo, che per insediarsi, di trovare presto i suoi equilibri che mettano il sistema Europa in una condizione di applicare la regola democratica più bella del mondo: la maggioranza governa, la minoranza controlla.

E auguro a tutte le istituzioni europee di riprendere a investire sui processi di comunicazione. Esse hanno avuto il merito di recente di tornare a occuparsi seriamente di regole  nel sistema comunicativo generale (Intelligenza artificiale compresa). Ora proprio la domanda sociale  di spiegazione chiede qualcosa in più anche nel nostro campo di applicazioni.

Noi saremmo entusiasti di essere al servizio di questa ripresa.

Dublino – Maggio 1995 – Stefano Rolando con la Presidente della Repubblica d’Irlanda Mary Robinson / Dublin – May 1995 – Stefano Rolando with the President of the Republic of Ireland Mary Robinson

Opening speech
Stefano Rolando
(President of the Venice Club)

Dear friends and colleagues,
a warm greeting to all of you and to the personalities who wanted to take part in this important meeting held in Dublin, with the fervent collaboration of our Irish colleagues.
I haven’t been from Dublin for many years. Indeed, I show you an image of the last occasion, in that 1995 in which – then as general director of the Presidency of the Council of the Italian government – I opened a historical exhibition of Italian publishing here in Dublin and as you can see it was even the president of the Republic of Ireland, Mrs Mary Robinson, an illustrious personality who later made many international contributions to Europe, to be present at that inauguration.

The topic of the impact of digital innovation on our field of professional applications is on the agenda of the meeting.
And it is with the “warnings” that have surfaced several times in the discussions developed in our meetings.

The first concerns the aims of the mission.
Public communication structures and especially those of institutional communication have the problem of being anchored to the constitutional reasons of democratic institutions: at the heart of which are some functions. I say three using symbolic words: explain, welcome, participate,

  • The explanation is a social specialization. It means putting ourselves in a serious position of analyzing the differentiated conditions of understanding of citizens and mediating – languages, formats, services – to reach recipients with solutions suitable for reducing any type of inequality.
  • Hospitality is a technique of equally social marketing. Not intended to sell, but to provide opportunities. The hierarchy of services naturally starts from crisis conditions, but is always attentive also to the conditions of development and civil acculturation.
  • Participation is not measured by votes or even by general consensus. It is measured with the culture of evaluating “added value”.
    This – said in “pills” – is the reason why we have always understood the process of digitization of communication processes (necessary, with financial and training needs as priorities) as an extraordinary means, not the ultimate goal of the mission.

The second warning concerns the conscious orientation to the aspects of contradiction in the overall evolution of communication which is placed in the relationship between institutions and citizens in which the confusion between true and false has returned to dominate the scenario, and is in fact the subject of new debates regulatory and also enters strongly into the ethical aspects of the public communication operator.
As you all know, one of the greatest living European sociologists, Jürgen Habermas, deemed it necessary – over ninety years old but still lucid and analytical – to return with an update text on the concept of “public sphere”, which was his and the Frankfurt School’s contribution. sixty years ago, precisely around the systemic manipulative aspects that bring back the true/false connection no different from the one that transformed Europe and the world in the first half of the twentieth century.

The third warning concerns the relational system of institutional communication.
We had an opportunity to meet very recently in Strasbourg (Venice Club in collaboration with the French association Cap Com) – very lively in terms of content and quality of contributions, some of which return to the program here in Dublin where, on this topic, methodological progress has been made.

It is clear that in the field of public communication, institutional communication must necessarily be measured against political communication.

  • It must converge because the management of institutions has a technical moment and a political moment.
  • But precisely for this reason it also ends up being very conflicting. Why field invasions exist. Because the different reason for communicating (even between the same political authority that guides the institution protempore and the apparatus that certainly makes its services not anonymous) there is complementarity but there is also a risk of friction.
    This chapter is delicate, evolving.
    There are cases in Europe of clear separation, there are cases of clear confusion.
    It is important to keep the topic open but it is difficult to find new points of balance.
    What is certain, however, is that the combined effect of crisis situations, transition situations and situations of complementarity of skills opens up an important field of relationships between institutional communication, social communication and communication. nor business.
    Legislative processes are also based on themes, territorial areas and targeted and coherent objectives.

It is clear that the dynamics relating to digitalisation present all three of the aforementioned characteristics, because the nature of the topic is innovation and innovation is change. So abandon, modify, separate.

It is like this for crisis situations. It is like this by definition for transition situations. It’s like this for the social question that becomes more urgent today around immense issues: security, inequality, poverty, illiteracy,

This framework of relationships could also be promoted by us on some occasions. We are already doing it, sometimes. But let’s think about it. We find opportunities One, right on the agenda today, brings back the topic of climate change and its impact on migration, public health and the economy, which will be discussed shortly and which is an excellent example of intersections and transitions, in which the institutional, social and business voices are complementary

I don’t choose other topics to wave out of measure. I hope that the European Parliament, which takes office, will soon find its balance that will put the European system in a position to apply the most beautiful democratic rule in the world: the majority governs, the minority controls.

And I wish all European institutions to resume investing in communication processes. They have recently had the merit of returning to seriously deal with rules in the general communication system (including artificial intelligence). Now the social question of explanation also asks for something more in our field of applications.

We would be thrilled to be at the service of this recovery.

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