The veritable online feast of information about the EU and its policies that is Euractiv has updated its list of MEP bloggers. The site lists 9 MEPs who blog; representing a wonderous 1.1% of our elected European representatives. The unelected Commission do better with a strike rate of 4 out of 27 (a shade under 15% in case you wondered).
One aspect the article from Euractiv doesn’t touch upon is the flipside of the blogging coin; the potential impact of blogs on policymaking. Research conducted in the US at George Washington’s Institute for Politics Democracy and the Internet suggests that around 90% of congressional staff read blogs on a daily basis. We are clearly still some distance from the form and influence of US blogs highlighted in the July edition of Mother Jones, especially given that many of the EU blogs listed come from journalists resident in traditional media outlets.
One also has to wonder whether our blogging MEPs are reading other blogs on a regular basis. Even serial MEP blogger Richard Corbett does not for example link to other like minded individuals in the blogosphere – not illustrating the kind of network effect that academic Thomas Burg notes as the main features of blogs in the Euractiv piece.
However, we note with happiness Mr. Corbett’s first foray into YouTube earlier this week, which for the sake of political neutrality we have embedded below. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately depending on one’s point of view, Corbett steers clear of both Bob the Builder and titillating sex clips and concentrates on the new EU treaty; all very much in the style of the man who co-pens the imaginatively entitled yet authoritative “The European Parliament”, which incidentally is a favored prize for many an internal FH Brussels quiz.