Monday 30 March 2009

So what would you

I saw an advertisement on EUobserver for a survey to tell Barroso what you think the EU should be doing. So if you like filling out surveys and then re-arranging the survey entries of others in order of importance (or if you secretly wish to meet Barroso himself), then this is for you.

As you can probably tell from the detail of my description, I have filled it in myself. I wrote in a few things, but I also basically re-hashed my rant on voter engagement (but constructively):

"...I am very doubtful of the value of the internet in getting citizens involved if it is not backed up by a traditional media presence. I only discovered this website via the EUobserver website, which I doubt is widely read by those who are not already interested in EU affairs. I accept, though, that this could be a practical judgment in that people who read the EUobserver are more likely to reply, and that there would be less value for money in advertising elsewhere.

However, there should be a larger effort made in creating debate (not just consultations) with citizens. There should be, for example, a transnational televised debate between the party group leaders in the elections; more national media interviews given by Commissioners, not just on the constitutional issue of Europe, but on various Commission policies so the public can debate and organise support or resistance to such policies; and simplifying the language of press releases on up-coming legislation along with other measures to transmit information through the traditional media to citizens - so they can make use of their MEPs, etc by contacting/lobbying them."

In other news, the PES have shown a bit more backbone in opposing a second term for Barroso. Still no alternative candidate, though.


  1. To me the PES rumbling about needing more time feels like unfounded posturing. If we live in a North Korean type 'democracy' with only one candidate for Commission President, what do they need time for?

    Especially, when the PES itself is the self-evident party to launch the first alternative candidate.

    (Despite the harsh facts, I feel understand the PES's dilemma, the party and European level democracy betrayed by Socrates, Zapatero and Brown.)

  2. Well, I can only hope that they want more time in order to get enough unity to put forward an alternative. Perhaps the EPP call for a speedy selection is a tactic to outmanoever the PES attempts at internal unity - puncturing any sense of urgency or morale that the party leadership may be trying to whip up behind the need to put forward a Commission Presidential Candidate?

  3. I think Barroso goes Obama. Obviously, this is kind of European response to the Obama campaign... this side of the sea I have not seen much of efficient use of the web. A good initiative I think, though I wonder how they will publish the results.....

  4. It is good to see some form of reaching out, and a more extensive use of the web would be good over here. However, traditional media shouldn't be overlooked - the traditional media gives the surface story and sparks an interest, and then people can look into the issues further on the internet and even get involved - it hooks people, and the internet reels them in, in a sense.

  5. You can find more information about small Finnish company providing the web service from here:

    And get a small hint about how they are going to publish the results from presentation available from their site: