Monday 11 May 2009

European Parliament elections 2009 (100): The European campaign is finally blossoming out

Since last July, one hundred posts have been published in this special category, which will find its end in about one month.

And only 100 posts later, the the Sleeping Beauty is finally waking up.

For some days now I can feel it, online and offline, that the European campaign activities are finally blossoming. Parties have realised that, what a surprise, there are elections coming closer. And so do the media.

Euronews shows Merkel and Sarkozy campaigning together while Zapatero is on his own (though he's got a bigger crowd).

Donald Tusk of Poland wants that the next European Parliament President is Polish, while for Finnish candidate Riikka Railimo it would be enough if the Union just showed how it affects the citizens.

For Wolfgang Munchau (via Kosmopolit) at the Financial Times, Barroso is the rotting fish head of Europe, unstoppable if the centre-right will win the elections.

It seems to be so rotting, that some obscure powers are attacking the website of the "Anyone but Barroso!" campaign that I have support since very early.

Yet, the European Socialists still don't have their own opposition candidate, criticised by me as it is by Frederico Brunelli on Le Taurillon. And Jon Worth is confused, too.

In the meantime, the Liberals seem to have Guy Verhofstadt and Mario Monti in their mind as possible solution if neither the left nor the right will have a majority for the President of the EU Commission. Campaign tactics?

And still, Daniel Antal concludes from the reports coming out of the European blogging competition TH!NK ABOUT IT (that has seen a number of interesting reports from the member states recently) that there is not much of an election fever in Europe.

At they don't see the campaign start off, and for Guillaume Klossa, the election campaign is at a dead end, with the only light at the end of the tunnel being the recent Yes of the Czech senate to the Lisbon Treaty.

Bulgaria sees last minute legal struggles, which, according to viharg could threaten the legitimacy of the EP elections in his country.

In Germany, EU Profiler and Votematch are competing with the German version Wahl-O-Mat and on Twitter the latter is winning significantly.

The French Greens have put to together a nice campaign video, while a young German Green admits that the election campaign is pretty exhausting.

EuroparlTV tries to gain points by letting citizens speak, while remarks that another video on Youtube attracts much more attention than the overpaid Parliament project or than the official campaign spot will ever get.

On the news sites, reports and special coverage of the elections starts to pop up, billboards find their ways to the streets and sidewalks, candidates tweet on Twitter, and TV spots and discussions start to air all around.

The campaign seems to be starting, and today in four weeks we will know whether this wasn't too late.

If you read back the last 99 posts in this category (plus some that are just labelled "European Parliament elections 2009"), you will again realise that what is going on now is, although still quite low-scale compared to national elections, much more than what we have seen over the last months.

But the parties will have problems to catch the attention of voters in this short period and to present their European agendas, and as I have said before, I don't think that they even care for European topics but that they will stay focused on national issues.

For this blog, it will be much more difficult from now to follow everything and many things that have been said in the European blogosphere for almost a year will be repeated by the mainstream media over the next days and weeks. There is no need to follow this mainstream, apart if something very interesting should come up against my expectations.

I think I will focus on a number of particular issues during these last weeks of this special category, trying to link what other say while looking for uncovered aspects that deserve attention. If you have any ideas in this regard, I'd be glad to hear about them!

(PS.: In fact, I wanted to devote this 100th post to young candidates and youth organisations. I had written some short and clear questions regarding young EP candidates to four political youth organisations - ECOSY, YEPP, LYMEC, and FYEG - last Thursday, but since I didn't get one reply by now, this will have to wait.)

Under the category "European parliament elections 2009" I am following up national and European activities on the path to the European Parliament elections 2009.

For an overview over all articles in this category have a look at the overview article.

For the five newest post see also the sidebar.