- How to maintain the independent reputation and authority of the committee?
- Which strategy are we supposed to follow as a commission and with which tactics?
- How do I create the necessary space and peace for the commission in order to carry out the inquiry?
In Dutch politics it is common that independent commissions of inquiry are established for deep-rooted political issues. This applies to the national, provincial, regional and municipal level.
Commission of Wise Men
Sometimes it is a minister or state secretary who initiates a commission of sages/experts. As time goes by such a commission writes a report including conclusions and recommendations. Subsequently it is up to the minister or state secretary to decide what will happen with the findings of the report. They can be used in a legislative process, but the report can also be sent to the House of Representatives with a reaction from the responsible minister or state secretary.
Parliamentary committee of inquiry
In other cases it can be a democratically elected institution – such as the House of Representatives or the municipal council – which establishes a special commission for further research. The most extensive form of research stems from right of inquiry of the House of Representatives and the municipal council. A so-called committee of inquiry, consisting of members of either the House of Representatives of the municipal council, has far-reaching investigative powers and can interview witnesses in a public hearing under oath.
Independence and great public attention
For such committees a communication and media strategy is of major importance. First of all, in order to stress the actual independence of the committee. Secondly, because the pressure from media, politics and other involved parties can sooner or later grow during the inquiry. Especially when the commission holds public hearings or publishes its report.
Our expertise for your committee
EPPA has gained the necessary knowledge and experience throughout the last years in order to support such committees with a communication and media strategy. Our partner Rob Sebes was responsible for the communication and media strategy for among others the committee of inquiry into Iraq (2010), the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the financial system (2012) and the committee of inquiry into the financial situation of Amsterdam 2002-2014 (2015).
We provide a team under supervision of Rob Sebes which can strategically advise such committees, and which can also get involved in the process if necessary. For instance for the creation and maintenance of your own website, the organisation of a press conference or an interview, the maintaining of contacts with journalists and the deployment and monitoring of social media.