The EU is distant; it doesn't engage; people feel uninformed about the issues and there is rarely any debate on substantive issues - the only debate seems to be infrequent, confused and hurried grandstanding on the constitutional issues.
People want more information. There should be more debate on what legislation is passed and decisions are made at an EU level.
Perhaps a campaign to try to engage people in the European elections would be a good idea? No, that would be propaganda.
Now this campaign is not at all likely to be effective - billboards cannot replace a vigorous political party debate and campaign, and these billboards aren't much good to start off with - but it does highlight a certain attitude which is sadly quite widespread in some approaches to debates on Europe, on both the pro-Europe and Eurosceptic sides. And it's mainly this: if a viewpoint on Europe comes from outside the member state, it is derided as foreign and therefore invalid and not worthy of consideration; official information campaigns are automatically labeled propaganda and are unhelpful to the debate.
Wait - so, on issues that effect more than one European country, other Europeans views are invalid; and in an area where people decry the lack of information, the official stance and official information is ignored? Perhaps I'm missing something, but how else do you improve the quality of debate and participation if you don't bring in more views and perspectives and never discuss the pros and cons of official policy? Is there another way?
I don't think so. As I've written before in more detail, all information has an ideological standpoint (something I've tried to put across in response to an Open Europe article), including official information and policy. But to dismiss its value out of hand for debates misses the point completely: after all, what would national political debates be like if nobody ever talked about what the government does or thinks on a particular issue? If policy statements or facts issued by the government are merely dismissed as propaganda and meddling in the debate, then it devalues the debate.
Basically, as long as politicians on both sides refuse to examine and debate and engage with official sources of information or other Europeans who are equally effected by common decisions, the public at large will be largely cut off from the political world and the decision-making process. And as long as the media doesn't hold the politicians to account, they will get away with it.
If anyone can show me how the debate can be enriched and the public engaged more without doing this; by continuing to exclude opinions and policies from the EU institutions, then let me know. But for now it seems to me that the unwillingness of politicians to fight on the basis of ideas and policies is what's really holding back and diminishing the quality of politics in today's Europe.