Posts tagged ‘Lisbon’

US and EU after Lisbon – Sir Christopher Meyer

Former UK Ambassador to the US and current Fleishman-Hillard’s International Advisory Board member Sir Christopher Meyer talks to colleagues in our DC office about US/EU relations after Lisbon. More thoughts from Sir Christopher on the US and the EU over at our YouTube Channel.


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November 13, 2009 at 12:41 pm 1 comment

Sarko in the Celtic Tiger’s cage

Nicolas Sarkozy, a watermark was present that ...Image via Wikipedia

The second in our now regular series of blog posts from our lovely French colleagues over in Paris…grrrrrrr.

After the announcement of the “No” on Friday, June 13, Dublin erupted in jubilation. But the next day, Ireland found itself in a situation comparable to the habitually sober citizen who has woken up with a raging hangover after having gone on an almighty pub crawl. A weekend national newspaper referred to an “Oh sh*t, what have we done?” vibe floating around. Opinion polls indicated that paradoxically most Irish support the EU, even if they voted no and found that almost 40 per cent of those who rejected the EU Treaty did so because they did not understand or were not “familiar” with it.

24 hours after the Bastille Day celebrations of July 14, the president of the European council, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy sparked a general outcry in Dublin by bluntly revealing an open secret… “The Irish will have to vote again”, he said to members of his party. And the media hype began. Immediately, the Irish started fulminating about such arrogance on the part of the Gallic elite. Suddenly, Sarkozy’s four-hour visit in Dublin on July 21 became a much more controversial topic for the Irish than the last Gaelic football game. It became THE story. Actually, to say the least, the reception of the French President could have been warmer…

On his way back to Paris, “the French gaffer” as he is called in the daily French newspaper Le Monde, denied having asked for a second Irish vote. In fact, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy is all too aware that there is no miracle solution to this institutional crisis at the present time. Irish events could be seen as a perfect introduction to a lecture on “sarkocism”. Lesson 1: raising the roof once more while pretending you are not. It is too early to say if this strategy is actually adapted to the present Irish versus European context. The forthcoming months will determine whether the answer is positive or not…

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July 25, 2008 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

Website in “average shape” as France takes over

Today is significant. Firstly, it’s 30 degree sunshine in Brussels, and secondly it’s the first day of the French Presidency of the EU. Bonjour.

As a shameful Anglophone, I’ll be dusting down the pocket dictionary, practicing my rolled Rs, and getting ready for six months of unmitigated Frenchness. And hurrah for it, as an initial look at the French Presidency’s website reveals our “citizen-orientated” Presidency is taking its digital communications seriously.

So often EU presidency websites have been about as exciting as the Solvency II proposal (apologies to our Financial Services team, who are all very special). However, it looks like Sarko and co have decided to raise the bar. Here’s how:

PFUE TV: the inspirationally-named PFUE TV (there was apparently a huge debate about whether or not to include the “P” and the “E” :)) is the most striking addition to the usual presidency stoge. The channel has, at the moment, limited content and is horrendously slow to load – let’s hope that something more dynamic than speeches by Fillon and Kouchner will be added over the next six months (more Carla Bruni please!).

EVENTS MAP: the French events map is a cool idea and uses Google Earth to identify events taking place in France over the next six months. Nice thinking.

CALENDAR TEST: As a public affairs professional it tends to drive me insane when I cannot easily access Council meeting documents. So I’m going to try it now…and I’ve failed; well I tried to get info on the ECOFIN Council next week, and there’s no agenda there yet. I guess it is still early so the jury’s out on that one.

WEATHER: I’ve noticed other Presidency sites have done this, but who in their right mind goes to an EU Presidency website to check the weather. I’d say that there’s a huge cloud gathering over Lisbon following the recent storm in Ireland…(oh dear)

Other thoughts on the French Presidency from our colleagues in Paris are more than welcome…

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July 1, 2008 at 6:15 pm 1 comment

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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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