Monday 22 September 2008

Interlude (III): European blog = European blogger?

My third month of European blogging is approaching its end. And while the European blogosphere remains interesting, I am still not sure whether having a European blog is the same as being a European blogger.

Why is that relevant?

It is relevant, because although there are quite some blogs dealing with European issues, the number of European bloggers - that is, bloggers writing from an all-European perspective - is quite limited. It is relevant because this discrepancy has an impact on the quality and content of intra-European debates.

In fact, the result is that most of us are discussing European questions from a rather national perspective (and I don't exclude myself) - not necessarily from our own national perspective but at least involving one national perspective.

This is not wrong and reflects a certain reality. However, the result is a rather limited possibility for blogosphere interaction, and while some topics (e.g. the Lisbon Treaty or the the Russian-Georgian war) are able to move many people and many bloggers alike - but even then rather in connexion to national specialities (the Irish "No") than with respect to the substance of European politics - many other European issues only seem to be interesting from specific national angles.

What I want to say is the following: I will continue Euroblogging and reading Euroblogs, but rather in the hope of seeing and achieving more intense European debates in the future, debates that have an all-European dimension. Something, where mentioning an individual country is not really necessary, because it affects citizens and people all over the continent alike. Blogs and articles that are not only about Europe but also from Europe.

But this effort seems not as easy as I have thought when starting to blog. Not least because it is much harder to be a European blogger than just to have a European blog. I think I have to reflect more on the things I am writing about, be more self-critical to the perspectives taken, and should try harder to identify exactly those topics that have this all-European dimension I am looking for. The best thing that came to my mind so far is the "Tracking: European Parliament Elections 2009" category, but it remains a limited subject with a forseable peak in the spring of 2009.

But it needs some more ideas to initiate European debates before they are initiated by the national media. And the question that I keep asking myself is:
Can the blogosphere be a facilitator for "true" European debates - or can we just join them when they have already evolved in the mainstream media?
Today, I would answer this question less optimistic than three month ago.


Anonymous said...

Even if it takes other European bloggers a while to shift to a more European perspective, I hope you will continue with this project. The national starting point will likely be there for some time, but it is not incompatible, I would argue, with a pan-European identification.

Jon Worth said...

Interesting as ever...

I've tried to get to grips with a similar sort of issue, but at the end of the day I generate more readers and comments if I write a UK-EU perspective than if I write an EU-wide perspective.

It's a question of the ideological approach versus pragmatism I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I fully understand your point, Jon. That's what I meant with the statement that it is harder to keep up a European perspective than expected.

And Vitaliy, both the national and pan-European identification are not at all incompatible internally, that's true, but sometimes, when both sides collide, it's much easier to keep up the "usual" perspective than to stand for the (pan-)European one. I just realise this in writing. It is more a matter of habbit, less of identification. Plus the pragmatic aspect that Jon has mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julien. I've commented on your previous post on the Irish NO vote if you remember me. Just to let you know, I am the convenor of the PES Activists Group in Dublin. We recently hosted a seminar on European Citizenship and Identity with Senator Richard Yung of the Parti Socialiste (F). He raised similar issues to the ones you have touched on, but I must admit you have presented the issue in a very intriguing way. I hope you don't mind, but I have posted a link to your article on the Irish Labour Party's internal web-forum which is currently discussing how we can move away from national obsessions and perspectives to a broader European discourse and identity. Desmond O'Toole.

Anonymous said...

Desmond, feel free to post links to my articles... Any interest in all-European debates is most welcome :-)

PS: I also don't have problems with copy-past attacks! :-D

JO said...

"Something, where mentioning an individual country is not really necessary, because it affects citizens and people all over the continent alike".

Forget it. It just isn't going to happen. Without even intending to, we're all coming from a national perpective, It's in our psyche's and it runs too deep.
Which is why the EU project will fail.

Wildan Arief said...

nice article.. nice blog too.. im from indonesia, visit me back please.. thanks

- said...

All of us are free for arguing whatever, but don't hurt each other, please