Central Europe Activ

In the opening even of Think About It three blogging MEPs answered the questions of European bloggers. Richard Corbett (Socialist) said he does not allow for comments because another organized party would immediately fill it up. But all comments are welcome in e-mail. Christofer Fjellner (People’s Party) has a bilingual blog. Jules Maaten (Liberal Democrats) also has an interactiv site. The discussion showed the difficulties of European politics: even in such an event most questions were related to national domestic politics. Here are some points I have found interesting.

Mr Fjellner said his main concern is protectionism, and hopes that while left-wing governments may spend a lot of money of the next generations on on bail-outs, but hopes that trade policy will not be altered. He also believes that there is no need for more regulation but better regulation. The mortgage companies that had started the current crisis in the US where actually state-owned companies. Mr Maaten

Mr Corbett argued that the Lisbon Treaty would make the safeguard that all ministers are controlled by either the European Parliament or national assemblies. At the moment there is no effective control on the ministers what deals they strice in the European Council. He thinks that this would be very important to protect liberties for instance. I hope that massage somehow makes it accross the Irish sea.

I have asked a very simple question from the three MEPs: have they ever received comments on their blogs outside their national constitutency, have they ever answered them and if they are aware of other bloggers or incoming links who refer to them from different European countries from where they are elected? Mr Fjellner received a few comments and links from outside Sweden, but his blogging is almost entirely Swedish, so there has not been any real cross-border blogging. Mr Cobbett does not allow for comments, and did not expand futher. Mr Maaten gets some comments on YouTube, otherwise his blog is in Dutch, infrequently posted, and has mostly Dutch and very few Flemish (Dutch-speaking Belgian) comments. So they are certainly not in the centre of the European blogosphere.

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  1. I have been following also blogs of Minsters of Foreign Affairs from Finland and Sweden. In Carl Bild’s blog (which is in Swedish language) some times discussion goes also in English. Mr. Alexander Stubb’s blog is in Finnish, sometimes comments are in Swedish, English and even French languages and the answers too (he speaks fluently all of them). Maybe this is sign where the real power is as well a sign that no one is interested what MEPs are doing or saying.

  2. Well, I could not have said this better. The panel with these MEPs was not very convincing for me either. In Hungary the prime minister has a blog – it is only in Hungarian, but it regularly quoted in the mainstream media and of course it attracts a lot of comments and views every day, too.

    What just dawned on me from Mr Maaten’s answer is that there are no real foreign languages in Europe. Even is he blog’s in Dutch that is understandable in part of Belgium and also in the diaspora. The Hungarian blogosphere is overlapping with the Slovakian, Romanian and Serbian, because it has a large number of politically involved Hungarian-speakers. (The Hungarian minority parties were on government in Slovakia and Romania, and are in power in Vojvodina province in Serbia). Although Europe is segmented by languages it is just an obstacle for a politcal discourse but will not make it impossible.

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