Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Dear readers,…

... this is the last real post of this blog, and the day after tomorrow at midnight, quite exactly two years after he came into existence, the blogger "Julien Frisch" will cease to exist.

Two years ago, I have started this blog because I wanted to. I just thought it was right and necessary to discuss European politics from the perspective of a convinced European. And so I did.

However, I didn't want to throw myself into the public at that time. I also didn't want to take my private history with me, I wanted to try to develop a new voice, one that went beyond what I had done before. I wanted to talk about what came to my mind, and I wanted that my words were just taken as the words of an individual person; I wanted to write freely without being interpreted in the context of my private or professional life.

So I decided to write the blog under a pseudonym - "Julien Frisch".

I've always liked the name "Julien" because it sounds good in English, French, and German (even in Spanish), and I added "Frisch" mainly because of Max Frisch, the Swiss author - Switzerland being some kind of a small European Union and Max Frisch an author that I liked reading. Important was also that the combination "Julien Frisch" didn't produce any Google results at that time, so I wouldn't take up a spot that was already covered by others.

In the first year - despite the blog receiving some relevant attention in the EU sphere although the actual readership has never been big compared to big national blogs - almost nobody (except for 1-2 friends) in my surroundings knew I was writing a blog. Even up until today there is only a limited amount of people inside and outside Brussels who know my real name and there is still only a limited amount of friends, family members and people I have met outside the web that know my blog because I told them.

I never had the intention to promote myself, and I have no intention to change that with this last post. So you got to know me as Julien Frisch, and you will see me vanish as Julien Frisch.

The main reason why I will stop writing this blog and stop using the pseudonym is that I feel limited in my work as a political scientist and also that I want to get involved in new projects related to EU politics that would bring about conflicts of interest if I continued writing under a pseudonym.

Actually, I've never had a problem using the pseudonym because I've never been directly involved in EU matters or lived in Brussels (until recently) while writing it.

I even started to react very well to that new name after a while. But today it makes me feel restricted in becoming active outside the digital sphere, in particular because I always have to think about whether I need to tell persons my blogging background or not. Because of the latter I also get uncomfortable as a political scientist whenever I ask people to talk with me. 


In addition, blogging on this blog also takes up a lot of time. And since beside my work as political scientist I want to devote some more time for other EU- and non-EU-related projects, there is also the problem that days only have 24 hour and weeks only 7 days.

Hence, I needed to make a choice, and the choice has been made against the blog and against the pseudonym.

Don't get me wrong: This is no spontaneous decision, I've been thinking about that for while already, but I feel that now is the time to leave. I will continue contributing to the development of the euroblogosphere through Bloggingportal.eu, and I will also continue to be around in EU social media communication. But this will not be in the context of this blog and not under the pseudonym that has followed me for the last 24 months.

When I will re-appear, I will be my real me, and even if I will have to start from the scratch, I don't want to take "Julien Frisch" with me. Call it creative destruction or an idiotic digital suicide, but the decision has been taken.

So this blog and this identity will come to an end, the euroblogger "Julien Frisch" will disappear into the digital nirvana from Thursday at midnight and I'll leave this identity behind without much regret because while it has been a great time I still love to move on.

I hope you enjoyed reading and following this blog and my Twitter account, and I hope I could inspire one or the other person to become active and to engage online and offline in EU politics.

It's actually not difficult to become a euroblogger, just take the courage to attack the little stupid things happening around EU decision-making every day, follow 2-3 subjects of interest over time to be able to tell a real story, and interact with others who are involved inside and outside the EU sphere. Share your knowledge and your ideas, spread news and discussions, and you will realise that even when your audience is not massive you reach out to people who care.

Go and fight the hierarchies and the ignorance of the higher ranks, disclose the hidden politics and secret circles that have formed to profit from the complexity of the Union, attack the narrow-minded and the satisfied, show that bureaucratic politics are not without alternatives, unveil that diplomatic language only exist to cover the failure to actually produce solutions, make your voice heard from inside the institutions and shout into the half-open doors of these institutions if you are on the outside.

Write in English or German, Maltese or Polish, but do it, just do it! If we don't do it, the Union might fail due to a lack of open and honest critique.


And don't hesitate, as I did, to use a pseudonym, as long as you stick to it, as long as you don't use it to protect lies or undue attacks. I feel that the pseudonym has given me the freedom to be more objective, to be more direct, to cover issues because I found it important to cover them, not because I wanted to present my person in the best possible way. It allowed me to experiment with my identity, with my style(s), with my thoughts and political positions.

This blog may not have existed if I would have been legally obliged to disclose my real name. And I would not have been the person I am today, doing the things I do the way I do them. This is meant to be a statement against anybody who wants to prevent anonymous or pseudonymous writing.

Yet, it doesn't mean that this is the perfect model, it's just an option that might work well for some people in some situations as it has worked for me over the last two years. I still think that in an ideal society we would all be able to write openly and freely about what we think and about what we want to write in our own name, but society isn't ideal, so sometimes our choices aren't either.


Now these are definitely the last words of the last article of this blog and I could go through a long list of people who deserve thanks and congratulations for so many different reasons, but I will just quit by saying good bye and leaving quietly into the summer sun of Brussels.

See you around in Europe, online or offline!

Sincerely yours,

Julien Frisch

PS.: The comments of this blog will stay open until the day after tomorrow, 11.59 pm, and then I will close them forever. I will also stop writing on my Twitter account at this time. My email address will remain active, so if you need to contact me for whatever reason in the future, feel free to do so.

37 comments:

Nina (formerly of The Bulletin) said...

Congratulations, Julien Frisch, you'll be missed but I am pretty sure that the 'real' version of you will be even more exciting. Your blogs was one of the few EU-related ones I read on a regular basis whilst working as an editor in Brussels - shame i moved before you arrived so we could've perhaps met in person. Good luck on your journey and thanks for the insightful commentary you've provided.

A big hello from Cambodia.

HughBS said...

Julien Frisch will forever be part of EU folklore. Perhaps a minute's silence is called for... :-)

André said...

Your departure will be a big blow for the Euroblogosphere. Good luck for all your future endeavors in Europe! Best, André

Grahnlaw said...

"Julien Frisch",

This is the first time I use quotation marks around your name when commenting on your blog, and having read your long "suicide note" I can only thank you for your writing, for your strongly promoted views to open up the European Union to citizens and for your related activities in the euroblogosphere and among social media.

I wish you the best of success in your new endeavours, and I hope to hear and see your contributions under your real world identity, on line and off line.

Niels E said...

We will miss you.

+Good luck!

Tayebot said...

Well, it's kind of a sad news. Good luck for your next project, we'll miss your voice around here.

Best,
Tayebot.

Anonymous said...

I too am sad to see you go, Julien Frisch. Thank you for you contributions in this shape and form! Maybe I will pitch in and follow your call to start blogging, perhaps under a pseudonym, as there will be a huge hole to fill in your absence.

georgneu said...

Great post, Julien and I can imagine it was not an easy decision. But I am sure you will continue to comment on what you think matters, and I am looking forward to it.

Dick Nieuwenhuis said...

I am speechless (which is extremely rare for those who know me)!
Va pensiero.....

Andrew said...

Gosh and here was I thinking that was your name (!!) ;-)

While nothing comes as much of a surprise to me these days with the EU, this news certainly did. While I only joined the masses of your followers half way through your two-year, I avidly read your posts and appreciated the work you did.

I think I speak for an awful lot of others when I say you will be missed.

Will you still be tweeting?

Mathew said...

I'll miss the blog, but I'm looking forward to reading your next incarnation, self-censored (as so many of us are) or not.

The Boiling Frog said...

Sorry to see you go Julien (suprised to found out that wasnt your real name). Even though my view of the EU is fundamentally different to yours, your blog was always a must-read. You will be missed.

Marjory said...

Hi "Julien",

I'm glad we met and exchanged views and I wish you well. Please come by again from time to time....

Marjory

Michaël said...

Dear "Julien",

We'll miss your inspired posts.

Bon vent !

Vasistas? said...

We'll miss you too, thanks for all the posts! We hope that life will treat you well...

rose22joh said...

This is a shame, but I can totally appreciate your decision, as someone who has also had to limit their Euroblogging in order to avoid conflict of interest. I hope that the new projects are exciting and friutful!
And for those of us who only know you virtually, it'll be interesting to see if we work it out...

Florent said...

Thanks for all what you did and good luck in your new life!

citizen of Europe said...

So, what to add? Gone but not forgotten.

Bram said...

WOW. Even though it's not a real life 'suicide' it surely hit me as such. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! Thank you for sharing your insights with us!

P.s. Never realized 'Julien Frish' was a nom de guerre so to speak ;-)

Sur le chemin de la construction européenne said...

Bon vent Julien Frisch et merci pour l'énorme boulot réalisé ces 24 derniers mois !

La eurosphère va te regretter. "Sur le chemin" te rendra un modeste mais sincère hommage dès demain.

Amitiés européennes,

SF

Eurocentric said...

Really sorry to see you go - you'll be sorely missed in the Euroblogosphere (you can be sure we'll try our best to cling on to you over at Bloggingportal!). You've been a powerful advocate for a more open EU, and an amazingly hard-working blogger. I hope you'll be back blogging about the EU soon, and hopefully I'll get to meet you in person sometime.

Greg said...

So long Julien - It was a pleasure to read you.
Well inspired and certainly inspiring blog that was yours.

Kevin said...

A real shame your going Julien. I hope you'll change your mind and come back some time down the line.

All the best for the future!

Windhoek said...

I oppose!!! Zostań! Greetings from Poland, i am very thankful...

Julien Frisch said...

Hey everyone,

you leave me stunned and amazed, thanks for all your comments.

It's been such a pleasure to write this blog, and I hope all of you will continue following euroblogs, write one on your own or contribute to European discussions wherever you are.

I'm thankful that you took the time to follow my blog and that you also took the time to react - I hope this inspires others (or yourselves) to get out, to share your thoughts and knowledge.

I feel humbled and grateful!

Thanks, Julien

Cédric said...

Sad news for our small EU world, but I'm sure you'll create some more great things in your next life anyway ;-)
See you irl!

Pierre-Antoine said...

Everything has already been said. This is very sad. Hope to see you again IRL in Brussels "Chez Antoine" to discuss about EU politics. I wish you good luck in the after "Julien Frisch" era.

Simon Blackley said...

Thank you, you will be missed . . .

Thomas Heimstädt said...

Julien, schade, wirklich schade...von den inzwischen zahlreichen Euro-Blogs habe ich deinen am kontinuierlichsten gelesen! Viel Erfolg mit deinen anderen Projekten. Wir laufen uns sicher nochmal über den Weg!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing thoughts! Me and my friends will miss it.

Gulf Stream Blues said...

This is sad news :-(

Erik Wesselius said...

Dear Julien,

You are probably (no, it's for sure) my favourite euroblogger and I regret that you will disappear into thin air as of midnight today. I want to congratulate you with the great job you did in those two years and thank you for sharing your refreshing view on EU (political) life. And even when I regret your departure, I admire the way in which you are now saying goodbye to all your readers.

Good luck with your research project and I hope to see you around in another incarnation in Brussels.

Anonymous said...

Julien,

it was great to read your blog, always inspiring. Maybe one day the new "Julien Frisch" will be seen in Brussels. Or the old one will be back? Always think of Harry Lime.

Aussie said...

We'll miss you, you have been one of my favourite sources in the last six months.

Good luck an all the best

Cheers from Australia

Anonymous said...

Crikey - me too I thought the name was real.. I will miss you though weird as that may sound- you always had something pertinent to blog about ;-) Best of luck with your projects (even if I feel it's selfish of you to abandon your digital fan club!)
Bon Vent à toi

nevilleb said...

This was my favourite - and an awesome - EU Blog. I'm sad/ disappointed to see you go, but wish you luck for the future. Partly because of your always interesting posts I'm thinking of dipping into the eu blogging arena myself. Thank you, and goodbye

Julien Frisch said...

@anonymous

Believe me, it's not meant to be selfish to leave, it is the only reasonable possibility to continue my work elsewhere.

And especially through Bloggingportal.eu I will continue to support blogging about EU affairs, to build relations between blogs and bloggers and to help find quality content that many others in the blogosphere, not just me, are already producing every day.

I hope you understand - and in the end, everyone can do what I did.


@nevilleb

It would be great seeing you start, just tell us @bloggingportal on Twitter about your blogs address or add it yourself or propose it directly on Bloggingportal.eu