‘Who do I call if I want to call Europe’ is a quotation attributed to Henry Kissinger which is often quoted when people want to suggest that the European Institutions are too diverse to provide a clear target audience for political messages addressed at ‘Europe’. It is, of course, a simplification. As explained in Part 1 of this briefing paper, the first question is whether we mean Europe, the European Union, or the Council of Europe? And if you are not clear about the reason for this question, click on the hyperlinks for more information. Secondly, any one of these is complex and therefore having just one phone number for them would be simplistic and unrealistic. But that said, it is important for citizens to understand how they can communicate effectively and at the right time with the appropriate decision-makers about the issues they care about.
This paper tries to shed some light on the other two (and a half?) European Institutions that make up the core of the decision-making (and implementation) structures of the European Union: the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European External Action Service.