Tuesday 9 March 2010

Spanish embassy in Berlin invites bloggers to breakfast

Europaeum has just blogged about it: The Spanish ambassador in Berlin invites bloggers to a breakfast next Tuesday to "inform" about the work of the Spanish EU Council Presidency.

The move that appears to be a move towards transparency looks pretty much like a standard PR event. And a secretive one.

On the website of the Spanish embassy in Berlin there is no hint to this breakfast, not even in the news section. So what they did is sending out an invitation via email to some organisations hoping that this would replace a transparent announcement of the initiative.

And why do they want to "inform" about the work of their Council presidency when they are half-way through their term? Why should I go to a breakfast to be informed now in a closed room when the presidency isn't able to inform about their work publicly before?

I know that the Council is used to work in secret, and that diplomats are used to work in secret. They are used to give one-way information to the public, but only as much information as they think is appropriate:

"You come to us, we don't come to you!"

Since they didn't announce this big time - I didn't see any blog post in the German blogosphere showing awareness of the meeting - they show that they want to control this thing, they don't want to let this go public. What they want is a photo with a number of people who are then said to stand for "the blogosphere" or "the web". Symbolic transparency.

Afterwards they won't care about what bloggers write, because this would involve substantive interaction instead of symbolic interaction - but that is what our governments haven't understood about this web thing so far.

In advance, the "blogger breakfast" sounds like a big PR move, a story-teller on how transparent they are, while they actually don't change their intransparency, they just extend it to a bunch of citizens who then write a blog about a two-hour breakfast paid by taxpayer money.

PS.: Martin from Europaeum will go there to let himself convince from the contrary.


Martin said...

Today they cancelled the whole thing. ;)