Monday, 7 February 2011

Twitter discussion about the European Council #euco

The Grahnlaw blog post Busy week in Brussels: EU politics and governance (5 February 2011) looked at the General Affairs Council (GAC) and the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) preparing the ground for the European Council, as well as ”summit” preparations and materials.

European Council conclusions and Twitter (4 February 2011 meeting), on Grahnlaw Suomi Finland (6 February 2011), offered a short guide to the different editions and language versions of the conclusions from the ”summit”.

Twitter #euco

The blog post noted that there was some common ground under the Twitter hashtag #euco with messages from European leaders and reactions from journalists and EU citizens.

If the political leaders have not discussed much with citizens, @Dana_Council of the EU Council press office @EUCouncilPress has invited further discussion about the #euco hashtag.

Since then, we notice one of the important functions of Twitter put to use. Toute l'Europe has broadcasted its informative post about the results of the European Council (in French): Conseil européen : vers un marché unique de l'énergie en 2014.

The blog announces The Week in Bloggingportal: Where the hell is Ashton? The inactivity of the EU high representative Ashton was cruelly contrasted with the blogging and tweeting activities of Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt.

We see the importance of perceptions, partly created through social media use – blogs, Facebook and Twitter – although in Ashton's case lack of drive and weak language equaled her feeble media presence.

@eDiplomat promises a briefing by Richard Werly on EU diplomatic challenges in 2011. At this stage we have an announcement, but nothing wrong with that. Somehow news has to get around, and Twitter is an effective means.

My own blog post in Swedish highlights existing strategic reports (Europe 2030 and Mario Monti), now available in all official languages, paints a background picture and describes how the proposals have been received. Here success or failure for us Europeans will be determined at European Council #euco level.

As I see it, the #euco hashtag can be put to various good uses, as long as the tweets deal with the strategic level the 29 characters of the European Council are supposed to act on (impetus for EU development, political directions and priorities), within the limits of 140 characters.

Lengthier arguments and discussions have to take place elswhere, such as on blogs, but announcements, short reactions and discussions are possible on Twitter, if the interest is there.

Perhaps communication and social media experts want to add their wiser remarks, while we are waiting for Godot to make his appearance in the form of discussion by and with the European leaders.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. In addition to The Week in Bloggingportal, the blog has a new feature: The Month in Bloggingportal. The multilingual aggregator brings you the posts from 738 Euroblogs, part of an emerging European public online space. Keep up to date and improve your language skills!

P.S. 2: My Euroblogs aim to discuss legal and political issues relevant to European enterprises, jobs, employers and employees, consumers and citizens, especially in cross-border situations. Internal market reform (Single Market Act) and the Europe 2020 strategy (EU2020 flagship initiatives) are going to be among the main themes. Hopefully my blogs educate and guide towards relevant sources, and I remain open to suggestions. For me the blogs offer disciplined study as basic training for teaching and legal counseling. My blogs are: upstream Grahnlaw (in English), Grahnblawg (in Swedish) and Eurooppaoikeus (in Finnish), as well as usually downstream the trilingual Grahnlaw Suomi Finland. If you are interested in European business, politics or law, we can get acquainted through Twitter @RalfGrahn or Facebook.