Laurent Ledoux's blog

If you missed my speech at the EurActiv Metamorphosis event (19 September 2016), watch it below or read the transcript:


Buenas noches! Guten abend! Buona sera a tutti! Bonsoir! Good evening!

On the first of July, I took over as CEO of EurActiv. And I started to meet and to listen to my new colleagues, our readers, our clients; to understand their needs, your needs.

The message I got was loud and clear: There are lots of great things about EurActiv. In particular,

  1. The quality of our editorial content;
  2. The talent and dedication of our team.

But there are also many things we need to change. We need a metamorphosis:

  1. Our clients want more clarity and flexibility in our product portfolio;
  2. Our readers want better and easier access to our articles, and we need to spice them up; I mean the articles, not the readers!
  3. We need to better leverage our unique pan-European network. We publish in 12 languages. We are unique in this. There is so much more we could do with it. Among other things, it could help the Brussels bubble to better hear the voices and concerns from the different European capitals;
  4. We need to refresh our image and change a bit our colours! Recently a friend of mine told me: Man, you need to put on sunglasses when you walk into one of your meeting rooms!

Definitely, we need to adopt a look & feel better aligned with the quality of our editorial content and services.

The need for this metamorphosis was accelerated by the arrival last year of Politico.

Flash, brash and full of cash, they’ve introduced some bracing and exciting competition.

To our guests from Politico, who are present here tonight, I want to say: We warmly welcome you. We thank you for the wake-up call. We welcome the challenge. We are ready! Be ready too!

But the more fundamental motivation for our metamorphosis is the following: 2016 will, in all likelihood, herald a major turning point in the history of Europe. Terrorist attacks, Brexit, refugee crisis, populism… all proved that clear and fact-based information on European issues matters.

Citizens, businesses, federations, officials, national governments, journalists from national newspapers, all need to know about what goes on in the EU and understand the solutions being drawn by EU policy-makers.

Many people say EU policy is boring. We beg to disagree. Our mission is to make them change their mind.

Over the last 17 years, EurActiv has delivered free policy news, contributing to the debate through events, reports and other services to EU stakeholders.

So, particularly in these difficult times for Europe, we need and want to change and grow even more, and give the best we can to support Europe.

Indeed, if there is anything that distinguishes us from any of our competitors, it is the fact that we are all deeply pro-European at EurActiv.

To be pro-European does not mean we are automatically pro-EU institutions. When they get it wrong – and they do – we say it and we write it.

We are turning ourselves into a media organization that is lean, mean and keen to have a positive impact on society, on the EU agenda, on Europe.

And we want to work with you on this.

Tonight I will share some of our first new products and services:

  1. “The Brief”

The Brief is your daily sharp, snappy, and smart insight into the day’s EU policy news. You will have received it at 5pm. Check your inbox.

Straight-talking, bite-sized, fun, indispensable, The Brief wraps up the day’s news and prepares you for tomorrow.

You can check it on your phone on the way home, make sure you haven’t missed anything and find out how to be ready for tomorrow.

I am very glad to thank Burston-Marsteller to be the first to power The Brief this week! And Huawei will power it next week.

If you want to know more about it, join Daniela & James after my speech at the first table on my right, the table with the orchid.

  1. “The Agenda setter”.

The Agenda setter will help any policy maker or policy influencer to be fully informed about a particular policy.

It will enable them to get quickly and easily a clear and neutral view on the positions adopted by the different stakeholders.

You will not only have the latest relevant articles, but also understand the different milestones and who are the most influential stakeholders.

What’s fundamentally new is that “Agenda Setter” will link people and policy.

For those who know them, it is a “LinksDossier Plus”, a “LinksDossier on steroids”.

If you want to know more about “The Agenda Setter”, please join Amandine & Davide at the table on my left.

  1. “The new Policy Topics & Policy Hubs”.

This is simply a new way to facilitate access to our rich and ever growing content.

On one hand, we have reorganized our policy sections around Policy Hubs to make them easier to navigate.

On the other hand, our supporters can now associate their name with one or more specific policy topics, instead of a broader policy section.

This will provide them a better, more efficient approach to raise awareness on their viewpoints.

If you want to know more about the new Policy Topics, please join Jana & Kris at the table on my left, in the back of the room;

If you want to know more about the new Policy Hubs, please join Fred & Aline on the table on my right in the back of the room.

  1. “Events and videos with more punch”

Because our new office settings will enable us to deliver stronger events and video production, you will also be able to discover tonight our thoughts and projects on these.

Evan will tell you all about our future new video studio, and also about the new video series we’ll be launching this week, called “Over a beer”. Evan will explain why we call it “Over a beer”. For more info, please join him at the table on the right in the back of the room.

Irene & Hanne will tell you about our Brexit50, the event we’ll organize later on this year and will show you the space reserved for our future events venue. Promised: the table and seats will not be in yellow! For more info, please join them at the table at my right, behind me.

I am convinced that new products and services like “The Brief”, “The Agenda Setter”, “the New Policy Topics and Policy Hubs”, “punchier videos and events” will provide higher value to our readers and clients.

However, bear in mind they represent only a first batch of changes we are initiating.

Our metamorphosis is just beginning: that is why we are holding this event in our new offices under construction.

In the coming months, we’ll need your help to pursue our metamorphosis. We’ll ask your input to reflect on new products and services, on how to radically improve our image, our look & feel.

You are therefore already invited to another metamorphosis event planned in January.

We will then present you our new finalized offices, more innovations and, yes, a brand new image. The bright yellow caterpillar will then become a free butterfly. What will be its shape and colors? To be discovered then.

But right now, please have a drink, let’s have a chat, enjoy yourselves, and let us know your thoughts on EurActiv’s metamorphosis.

To sum it up: our metamorphosis is meant to serve you all better, and pursue the goal, which, I hope, we all share:

  • to help Europe reinvent itself after Brexit;
  • to help Europe be the best it can be.

Thank you! Merci! Grazie! Vielen dank! Gracias!

Author :


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