From one seat to one president – a new digital dawn in Brussels?

March 3, 2008 at 8:01 pm 4 comments


Hats off to Brussels bloggers Jon Worth and Jan Seifert as they embark on a new Brussels digital campaign called “Who do I call?“.  Their aim is simple. They think that the Commission President and newly created President of the European Council should be the one and same person.

While we still remain to be convinced about the merits of the case,  we do admire the team’s online efforts. (Admittedly as some of us have yet to really think about it – this thinking usual happens when we should be relaxing).  You can support in a number of ways from a simple signing of their petition, signing up on Facebook, putting the banner on your site to translating their copy into another language. The choice is yours. For the first time we have seen in an EU based campaign, the guys are using many of the tools out there to take visitors through all of the stages of online activist engagement, with the exception of getting people to take their activity offline…

Online activism

As Jon readily admits, the challenge will be to see whether their own (formidable) online and offline networks will draw enough support to the campaign centre. Unlike the one seat campaign and the 1million4disability, they do not currently have the kind of ready made organisational support of traditional NGO grassroots campaigns. It’s an interestingly experiment to see whether a European campaign can start online and migrate offline as attention builds. Clearly however, the team is already using its online contacts to spread the word and is actively looking at networks they are already part of to join the cause (hence this blog post). More posts in Facebook groups and a guest appearance on Blogactiv’s ideas page are perhaps in order in the coming days.

BTW – it’s great to see best practice blogger relations techniques being used here in Brussels. It’s just a pity that this time around we are the subject of the blogger relations, rather than the ones undertaking it!

Entry filed under: Council, European Commission, grassroots, public affairs. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • […] Its promotion has been lightning fast, as you can see if you visit the page (you can also read another review). Politically speaking, I am not completely convinced about this idea of having one single person […]

  • […] Its promotion has been lightning fast, as you can see if you visit the page (you can also read another review). Politically speaking, I am not completely convinced about this idea of having one single person […]

  • 3. Ralf Grahn  |  March 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    If we want someone to represent the EU in discussions with world leaders, we should want someone with democratic legitimacy.

    This can be achieved through the first real president, within the Lisbon Treaty, just as the ‘Do do I call’ initiative proposes.

    The days of ‘managed democracy’ should be left behind, if the European Union wants to profess the value of democracy internally and educate the rest of the world.

  • […] a similar online movement. With the digital world potentially lowering the barrier to entry for those wishing to gather support around an issue, a Friday morning coffee corner conversation overlooking a cold Square de Meeus got us thinking […]


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A blog on politics, policy, public affairs and communications in Brussels and the European Union. The blog is written by the team at Fleishman-Hillard in Brussels. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect those of the company or its clients. You will find the contact details of our team at

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