Posts tagged ‘politics’

Breaking news from UK PM – Commission supports completing internal market

I have to admit to being a little bit of a pro-European (no? never! you say), so it is with some fidgeting discomfort that I read overnight the happenings in my native land on the EU. Our London office have done a quick round up of the rebellion on their blog (sounds like something Darth Vadar would want to crush).

I think it’s worthwhile reading the Prime Minister’s full statement to the House of Commons from last night in case you missed it. As Jon Worth notes (hat tip for making the front of the Guardian’s online edition yesterday) being in office has driven probably the most Eurosceptic of Prime Ministers closer rather than farther from Europe. As I read through his speech I noted many of the arguments that pro-Europeans make for why the EU is a good thing and in our national interest. Pity it’s taken a financial crisis and frightful backbench rebellion to get Mr. Cameron to say these things out loud and in public.  I do have to laugh however that he’s only just noticed that the Commission are actually for completing the internal market and a friend of the UK’s agenda generally…One has to wonder where’s he’s been since the Single European Act, oh, the UK (well that explains it).

As for the future, I’m of the opinion this debate is not going away, especially in light of the further integration needed as a result of what’s happening in the Euro-zone and the PM’s desire to fundamentally renegotiate our relationship with the EU as expressed in the same speech. As the Americans would say, “Good luck with that”. Well, so be it. It’s time the UK had this discussion and that those who are generally have an aversion to “Europe” acknowledge the good things that the EU does deliver for UK business and citizens. As someone who takes delight in seeking to convert London cabbies to the European cause I’m up for it.

James

(note – see top right, all views expressed on this blog are personal)

 

October 25, 2011 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

Twongressions to lose Democrats seats? Study on Twitter in Congress

"Republican Party Elephant" logo
Image via Wikipedia

Our colleague Mark Senak’s study on the use of Twitter by members of the US Congress has been making some waves in the media across the Atlantic in recent days. The main headline being that the Republicans are beating the Democrats in their use of the tool. We shall have to see what this means when it comes to the mid-terms.

James

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January 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

21% of MEPs use twitter – according to us and someone else

Twitter
Image via Wikipedia

Counting the number of MEPs that use online tools to communicate is not a bad way to start your company’s blog and attract traffic. We should know as our post that claimed that 11% of MEPs blog is still one of our most visited posts to this day. E-marketing newcomers Digimahti have followed our lead and list 115 157 tweeting MEPs. Not an insignificant number I am sure you’ll agree.

At 21% of the total members of Parliament,  it’s exactly the same percentage that our MEP digital survey suggested used Twitter when we polled them in May this year! Digimahti of course notes that ‘using’ Twitter and having a Twitter account are very different. Our digital survey suggested that only 13% use it ‘regularly’, while 8% use it ‘occasionally’.

We’ll be looking to run our digital survey again next year with the new Parliament to see if that number improves.

James

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November 3, 2009 at 11:59 am 4 comments

Polling and its impact on public policy

An interesting piece on the impact of polling on public policy in the US from my colleague Jeff Weintraub on our Public Affairs blog that is worth checking out here.

In contrast, I am not sure we need an online poll to establish whether polling has a big impact on the outcomes of public policy decisions at an EU level. I’ve discussed the fact it isn’t used more in previous posts.

In any case, it is an interesting debate in an EU context. Should advocates and policymakers in this town be making more use of polling both in advocacy and in making their policy decisions?

I’d be interested in your views and indeed examples of where it has proved valuable/not valuable.

James

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October 21, 2009 at 12:37 pm 1 comment

Public Affairs Action Day – 30 November

Conference season is upon us once again. And boy does our workshop at last year’s Public Affairs Agenda two day extravaganza seem like an age ago. This year we’re partnering with the good folks at Dods on their European Public Affairs Action Day to be held on the 30 November at the Renaissance Hotel (it is a day rather than a summit this year, but the hotel remains the same).

We shall be hosting one of the workshop sessions, which will be structured in the form of a panel discussion complete with Q&A. Our panel is entitled “To Twitter or not to Twitter: the use of digital tools in public affairs” and will run in the second morning slot from approximately 11.30 until lunch. Appearing on our panel will be:

  • Alexander Alvaro MEP talking about the use of the internet by Members of the European Parliament in and after the election campaign earlier this year.
  • Pat Cleary our SVP of digital public affairs from our Washington DC office talking about the use of twitter in advocacy campaigns on the basis of a recent piece of work he did for the Fix Housing First coalition.
  • Mark Redgrove. Mark heads up communication at manufacturing industry association Orgalime. He shall speak about how his organisation is using the internet to support advocacy in a Brussels based context

Registrations are not yet open, but should be soon here. We hope you can join us.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]James

October 20, 2009 at 5:01 pm 1 comment

The Down & Dirty of Digital Government

BBC
BBC via last.fm

The devil, they say, is in the detail and it is interesting how the debate on e-government is developing in the UK. This article from the BBC website talks about the move on from a starry-eyed reaction to Obama-esque digi-campaigning (or Election 2.0) to a practical, cost-driven desire to drive all access to government and government services online. It is this, they argue, more than anything which is driving Government pressure on suppliers to push broadband out to everyone. It may be exciting to exercise one’s democratic rights online, but it may be more useful to be able to get the bins emptied too.

Nick A

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October 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm 1 comment

Pan-European politics: Can the internet connect the dots?

A new event announcement that is of interest lands in our inbox. Personal Democracy is holding a European conference in Barcelona on 20/21 November. Speakers include representatives from the US but also Europe and of course the Brussels bubble. Jon Worth and Susan Pointer of Google among them.

Topics to be addressed include:

  • Pan-European politics: Can the internet connect the dots?
  • New possibilities for collaborative government
  • Using the internet to open up politics outside the parties
  • Transparency and participation: What is real e-government?
  • What should European politicians and parties learn from the Obama victory?
  • Using social media to transform the relationship between voters and their representatives
  • State of the art politech: how to use mobile, video and social networking to advance your cause
  • New media vs traditional media: how to navigate the new environment

There are many conference on digital communications, but it strikes us that us that this conference is more appealing that most given its focus on the interesting nexus of politics and digital communications. Right up our street.

James

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October 7, 2009 at 10:01 am 1 comment

Global votes, local perspectives

carte des démocraties soi-disants
Image via Wikipedia

The great thing about being a bit of a political junkie is there is always an election going on somewhere. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia there are 123 democracies in the world. They may not all be perfectly formed, but as Churchill said…

Happily we have people on the ground in an increasing number of them. In an effort to harness this network in one place our Public Affairs website has now grown to include “Global Vote”. It seeks to list forthcoming elections, provide some key background and most importantly some local insight from our people on the ground. Currently, we’ve contributions on everywhere from Germany, Czech republic and Portugal to the Virginian governor’s race.

It’s still developing, but is worth a look even at this infant stage. Comments on how it could grow are most welcome on this blog.

James

P.S. A blog post is somewhat overdue on how to keep a blog going in the summer period when two thirds of the office is not in the office and the other third is experiencing one of the busiest Augusts in living memory. Who says Brussels shuts in August. Apologies for those readers who await our every meandering with baited breath.

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September 10, 2009 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

Do MEPs tweet, blog and Facebook? We find out.

  * Description: Strasbourg, European par...
Image via Wikipedia

Today we launch the results of our European Parliament Digital Trends Survey – www.epdigitaltrends.eu It examines how Members of the European Parliament are using the internet to communicate with their voters as well as how the same MEPs use the internet to inform their daily legislative work. As such, we hope that the results are interesting both for MEPs and for Brussels public affairs practitioners.

In summary MEPs are using the internet to communicate to voters but are not yet for the most part using all the tools available. No doubt MEPs have come a long way since the last elections, but there is still a road to travel.

For public affairs practitioners we believe that our results support the view we espoused when we started this blog 2 years ago. Like all of us MEPs are going online for information to inform their decisions. To be effective, our public affairs strategies need to integrate digital communications into their toolbox of tactics. Digital can not replace traditional tools such as contact programmes and media relations it complements them, rendering our activities more effective.

On the microsite  www.epdigitaltrends.eu you will find the following:

  • Our main results with supporting statistics
  • An e-brochure
  • A full report
  • A library of downloads, including graphs and the raw data for you to make your own analysis and graphs
  • Commentary from MEPs
  • An opportunity for you to post your own thoughts
  • The charities we supported in conducting the research
  • The methodology we used – sample size etc.

In the coming days we shall be taking time to reflect on what the different parts of our results mean for public affairs practitioners in Brussels on this blog.

Thanks to all MEPs who participated and to the hardworking FH team who made it all possible (everyone in the office played some role but in particular I’d like to thank Mike, Reg, Veronique, Liliana, Julie, Carey, Aurelie, Tim, Michele, Jay, Clara and Rosie)

We look forward to your reactions to the results on the microsite and to having a debate on this blog about what our survey says about digital public affairs.

James

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May 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm 2 comments

Which MEPs are Twittering? I know a few…

Following on from our digital audit of MEPS last year, we now want to know which MEPs have caught the Twitter bug…

These are just a few we’ve found so far:

  1. Graham Watson
  2. Matthias Groote
  3. Katrin Saks
  4. Benoit Hamon
  5. Eoin Ryan
  6. Neena Gill
  7. Arlene McCarthy
  8. Peter Skinner
  9. Jim Nicholson
  10. Mary Honeyball
  11. Andrew Duff
  12. Daniel Caspary
  13. Jules Maaten
  14. Jeanine Hennis
  15. Sophie in ‘t Veld
  16. Daniel Cohn-Bendit
  17. Åsa Westlund
  18. Anna Hedh
  19. Kathalijne Buitenweg
  20. Helga Truepel
  21. Colm Burke
  22. Joost Lagendijk
  23. Gunnar Hökmark
  24. Dagmar Roth-Behrendt
  25. Alexander Alvaro
  26. Jorgo Chatzimarkakis
  27. Richard Corbett
  28. Ed McMillan-Scott
  29. Rodi Kratsa
  30. Vincent Peillon
  31. Urszula Gacek
  32. Jean luc Bennahmias
  33. Catherine Trautmann
  34. Bernadette Vergnaud

If you have come across any, please let us know. We shall update this list as we get new names.

Rosie

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P.S. As we mentioned in a previous post, the utility of Twitter is still not clear to us. We do find Daily Show host John Stewart’s opinion about Twitter quite humorous: “They’re struggling because they confused new with good.”

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March 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm 12 comments

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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 www.fleishman-hillard.eu

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