Tuesday 9 June 2009

Europe in blogs (2)

Caution: The following article could contain traces of irony or hyperbole.

Whooo, the whirlwind of the European Parliament elections 2009 has blown pretty heavily during the last days. If you've missed that, you've missed quite something.

During these days, The European Citizen did a tremendous job in the coverage of the election process, and he is absolutely worth getting linked here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I suppose he realised that I wasn't capable of doing it, so he took over from me.

La Oreja de Europa was equally active, blogging directly from the European Parliament. 15 blog posts on the 7th of June, that is quite something. It is a shame that they are all in Spanish so nobody will understand them. Why not blogging in Maltese?!

Now that the results are in, Jan is happy that he guessed the wrong number of Greens entering the new European Parliament. What he forgot to mention is that he actually made it into the European Parliament himself, where from now on he will be called on duty by the European blogosphere whenever we need him. Bad luck!

Charlemagne partly blames MEPs for the low turnout, and, more important, criticises them for planning to do "more of the same" in the future, just on a larger scale. His simple, media-guy conclusion: Let's get rid of the EU, make it national. It's the Economist, stupid!

The Kosmopolit has set out a long agenda of things he needs to write about after these elections, and the list is long enough to keep an army of bloggers, politicians, PR people and scientists busy for the next years. But why to be overmodest when you have been nominated Best European Blog in 2008!?

Behind the Scenes is ignoring the will of the people when she questions the authority of Barroso. How dare she?! 60% abstention were a clear "YES" for José Manuel who abstained from doing anything valuable over the last five years. Non-Voters want more of that!

At Central Europe Active, Dániel sounds very surprised by the heavy victory of the right in Hungary, in particular the anti-Roma far right. He himself admits having endorsed a Roma party which only received very few votes. But he should have known better: Nobody in Europe likes Roma because many of them try to live the European dream by moving around freely - and the immobile populations are very jealous about that.

It was also a sad Sunday for British MEP and blogger Richard Corbett who will have to leave his EP office to make room for a British neo-nationalist which EU Referendum is joyfully defending. I should write some nice words about Mr Corbett because many seem to be upset, but somehow he has only marginally captured my attention and I am not the best to hold the funeral eulogy.

Maybe Nosemonkey could do it, after he spent his election night on Twitter, probably with the bottle of something he bought recently (cannot find the Tweet, sorry). Or Jon, who not surprisingly is is disappointed by the results of the left and who wants to see Martin Schulz' head roll (that is yet another Twitter story).

Before closing, we should not forget the many others who have heroically blogged about Polish winners, about the elite deserving the results, about a Libertas leader not making it into the EP, their frustration as pro-Europeans, or who have published 10 boring conclusions on the election results in the UK.

And last but not least, with tears in his eyes, PES leader Rasmussen admits the defeat and has already learned his lesson: He makes clear to everyone that European socialists and social democrats have to continue as they did. Because once you are on the way to hell, don't turn around or you'll get your back burned, too. Great job, Mr R.!

There was much more in European blogs over the last week, but that's it for now. Europe in blogs will be back soon.

(PS: The good-bye does not come without mentioning that the title of this series - "Europe in blogs" - which I came up with while being offline - was probably unconsciously influenced by "L'Europe en Blogs" of ARTE, which means exactly the same.

I knew this category before, but only during last week I remembered it and then I realised that my innovation was not very innovative. I felt very stupid then. And I still feel bad about it. I think I will have to invent another title for the category. Any idea for something short?

You see, the post-election era continues with deception, this time with me being uncreative. My apologies!


Kosmopolito said...

Nice piece ;-)

Why don't you reactivate the "Euroblog roundup" label, the traditional but short lived name of it...? I am sure Nosemonkey does not mind ;-)

Examples from 2007:

Ralf Grahn said...


If you are ashamed of stealing Europe in blogs from Arte, why not pilfer Best of blogs from the FT Brussels blog (and countless others)?

Or, after thinking about it, why change anything - you would only get your back burnt, anyway?

You often complain that the Euroblogsoshere is so small. Well, Boggingportal.eu already aggregates something like 390 blogs.

With 500 million EU citizens, you could instead brand us as "one in a million". Sounds nice, doesn't it?

Ralf Grahn said...


If you feel that you are the wrong guy to praise the virtues of Richard Corbett, you could read the Economist's Charlemagne's Notebook on him.

Sergio said...

I think is a good choice for La Oreja de Europa to blog just in Spanish due, compared to other countries, the ratio of English speakers is low, 20-29%, - says wikipedia but I think this data are too optimistic- and is one of the largest EU communities of speakers. Anyway, today with tools is not really a probleams to follow it.

Julien Frisch said...


Thanks for using my own quote against me. :-D


It is the best choice for La Oreja to blog in Spanish. She does a very good job in bringing EU politics closer to Spanish-speaking Europeans and she is the best example of a much needed broker between the EU- and the national level. I just gave up my personal German Euroblog in favour of this English version.

The (ironic) comment was rather directed towards the English- and French-dominated European blogosphere where many might have difficulties in following the good work done at "Europe's Ear". And I include myself, because even though I understand Spanish I am not as fluent as in English or French, so reading La OdE always needs an extra effort.

Macarena Rodriguez said...

Julien, after reading the post, I have laught a lot. I know you were ironic. Many people (out of Spain) asked me why I am doing the blog just in Spanish? Well, the blog is aimed to mind the gap between EU and Spanish people. I don't want to make the same mistake than European institutions. I would like to be clear: I write in Spanish because I believe in a multicultural/multilingual Europe, not because Spanish language is (I don't think so) one of the most "important" languages. However, in Twitter, I twit in English, French, Italian and Spanish. Thank you for your last comment in response to Sergio.
And I would like to enjoy this long comment to congrat you for your wonderful blog and greats opinions. Gracias!!

Ralf Grahn said...


With more than 40 million inhabitants, Spain is one of the bigger EU member states. What makes me wonder is the scarcity of Euroblogs in many of the languages of the European Union.

Taking population size into account, my impression is that there is very little active blogging in German and Italian, for instance.

But there is a need for blogs in all the EU languages (as well as minority and regional ones) about Europe.

To the extent that "domestic" Euroblogs exist, they should be encouraged to join Bloggingportal.eu, because there is always a number of persons who understand even the least spoken languages, and the blog aggregator could reach ex-pats.

On the other hand, the "domestic" Euroblogs could link to blogs in other languages.

The Think about it participants may know suitable bloggers, and could invite them to join the aggregator or propose them.

Linguistic diversity is a fact of life in Europe, but overlapping and interacting blogospheres seems to be a worthy aim.

Does anyone have ideas, suggestions for action or initiative to do something?

Eurocentric said...

Thanks! And congratulations on finishing your great EP election series.

(Hopefully if I try it again next time, I'll actually get half of Europe covered (!)).