Sunday 8 November 2009

Euroblogs in German ─ where are they?

With 18 per cent of the EU population, German is the most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union. A further 14 per cent can speak German, which means that almost a third of EU inhabitants (32%) are able to speak the language of Goethe (Wikipedia: Languages of the European Union).

There are German quality media, universities, think tanks, public administrations, world class businesses etc., but how about Euroblogs?

Let us take a look at the Euroblogs updated during the last week on the multilingual aggregator

Among Journalists / Media we have Planet in Progress (Die Zeit) with one post.

Among Individuals Euro-Police is fairly active, with 11 posts either in German or in English monitoring the European police, e-comm, with five posts on EU (and Austrian) telecommunications law, and Martin Ehrenhauser, who as MEP should be in that category, with five posts on politics in the European Parliament.

Further there is Blog von Andreas Grieß, with two posts, Skablog, by Ska Keller, who like Ehrenhauser belongs to the MEP category, with two posts.

One post has been recorded by Zur Politik (Tom Schaffer), Der Nachbar (as EurActiv editor perhaps more correctly belonging to the Journalists / Media category), Europa-Transparent (Hajo Friedrich) and Reflexionen (Michael Scharfschwerdt).

Among the German and English bilingual blogs, Mount EUlympus (Andre Feldhof) has posted in English lately, once during the last week, and Jan’s EU-Blog (Jan Seifert) has one post in German, about fifty-fifty lately.

In the category MEPs / MPs / Political parties we find Peter Pilz Tagebuch with five posts, which mainly focus on Austrian politics. ─ This as good a place as any to ask, how Euroblogs and EU affairs should be understood. In my view, should be inclusive rather than exclusive. National and European spheres should be allowed to overlap, and national politics are of interest to European readers and they influence EU politics. On the other hand, are there limiting criteria which should be applied when approving blogs on

Holger Krahmer (MEP) has two posts, while the MEPs Helga Trüpel and Silvana Koch-Mehrin have one post each during the last week.

In the Network category the webzine Die Euros has nine posts.

Among the Civil society /NGOs, has three posts and Junge Europäische Föderalisten and der Universität Erfurt one blog article posted during the last week.

I found no updated blogs in German in the categories Commissioners, Governments or Think tanks / Academic / Federations.


Where are the German Euroblogs?

After looking at the Euroblogs in German, I have some questions.

Increasingly Germany can be said to be the leading EU member state (to the extent that there is a lead state), and Austria is a mid-sized member. In addition, there are German minorities in a number of member states as well as a sizable population in Switzerland and expats all over the world.

In relation to the many German speakers, there seem to be few Euroblogs in German on In some categories, there are none, and in no category are the German blogs among the most active.

Have German blogs on EU affairs failed to announce their interest?

Are there not more German Euroblogs out there, and if so, why?

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Read about the real EUSSR through the good, the better and the best Euroblogs on multilingual


  1. It's maybe worth noting that the German political blogosphere is not that developed and apart from media and tech law commentary its quality is rather bad.

    If we consider national euroblogospheres as specialisations of the general blogosphere then one could say that the critical mass for this kind of blogging does not exist yet.

    If we look at it from a cultural point of view one might say that blogging as a certain type of debate culture does not develop because our political system also lacks these elements of polarised and personalised debates to which blogging could relate.

    Continuing this last argument one has to note that euroscepticism is not a significant political dimension in a country where despite critical remarks about the EU and protective behaviour for the national economy sense of belonging to Europe is built into the political system. This reduces the chances for a German euroblogosphere to emerge out of negativity.

    This brings me to the last point: The most relevant euroblogospheres have developed in Great Britain and France. In the former you have a) very polarised debates, b) a strong euroscepticism and c) a language advantage allowing you to relate to English-language eurobloggers from other countries - all three favourable for a national euroblogosphere. And when we look at France we have to remember that the origins of a strong Euroblogosphere are in the 2005 referendum debate that polarised the country and led first to the development of an anti-constitutional online community which subsequently caused a pro-European reaction on the side of the bloggers.

    There is nothing similar in Germany, and so having a political system and culture that is generally not too favourable for the blogosphere and lacking particular events causing the emergence of a German euroblogosphere seem to me the main reasons for why things are as they are...

  2. Julien,

    Thank you for your enlightening comments.

    Despite the causes and comparisons you mention, I feel that with some 100 million native German speakers there could be a greater number of Eurobloggers; potentially there are enough readers and writers.

    Some of the other EU member states (or languages) I have been thinking about are Italy and Spain, as well as the new(ish) member states in Central Europe.

  3. Did you search blogs of German authors or blogs written in German language?

  4. citizen of Europe,

    Primarily I looked at blogs in the German language, or the relative rareness of such, given the numbers of German speakers.

    But naturally Germany with its 82.5 million inhabitants represents a great chunk of German speakers.

    I would be happy to see EU citizens from all corners of the European Union (Europe) participate in discussion of EU affairs.

  5. Ralf, thanks for the interesting article and the suggestion on changing the categories for the two MEPs and the blog.

    All three blogs are now in the good category.

  6. Maybe the German authors write another languages, especially English or French.


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