2009 has been the year the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, and as usual almost nobody outside Brussels has noticed.
What everybody noticed were the European Parliament elections 2009 that have dominated this blog for the first half of 2009. The last election day and the Monday after the elections were the most successful days (in terms of visitors and hits) of this blog in the first semester. I should also remind you of the Th!nk About it! blogging competition where I was invited to moderate a discussion at the final event in Rotterdam.
The second semester was much more quiet with the summer break - until my visits to Hungary where I spoke to local and regional journalists and to the "Brussels bubble" in October. This visit was extremely fruitful, meeting people I only new through blogging and Twitter, and discussing issues that are very relevant to my own research as a political scientist. These days in Brussels have been covered in a four-part series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4.
On 3 November 2009, we finally saw the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty that has put the EU on a new constitutional basis on 1 December 2009 - probably the last "major" reform for at least a decade.
And over the year, we got many new and renewed faces for the top EU posts: Jerzy Buzek as European Parliament President (my comment), José Manuel Barroso as European Commission President (see the very first Chasing Brussels Podcast episode), Hermann van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton for European Council President and "Foreign Minister" (Eurobloggers' comment) as well as Pierre de Boissieu as EU Council Secretary General (comment by Grahnlaw) and his successor Uwe Corsepius (my portrait. Not to forget the new European Commission as proposed by Barroso at the end of November that is awaiting confirmation in January.
Well, and we have seen the amazing evolution of Bloggingportal.eu that has become the point of reference for the Euroblogosphere that I expect to continue to mature in 2010, where we will have to move to more policy-related issues after a year dominated by institutional and personality issues.
I myself am looking forward to 2010, not least since I know my own life will change again as I might move to Brussels for some time in Spring, and I will continue blogging as I did in 2009 - although I don't think I will be able to repeat the amount of almost 600 posts published over the year...
PS: My special thanks this year go to the Swedish Presidency Twitterers and blogging Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt for their work in making the Council Presidency the most transparent ever, serving as examples to build upon in the future!
Hoffnung aus Rom
4 hours ago