Obama Web 2.0 campaign webinar
December 20, 2008
We've been a bit quiet recently, in part due to a mad year end, but one internal event I had time to attend was an internal FH webinar on the use of digital in the Obama campaign. I know, we've heard this all before you say. In fact, we're going to kill the next person who mentions Obama's use of the internet in his campaign. Nevertheless the webinar, which you can view here, sees some...
No more certain ideas of Europe
December 18, 2008
In this farewell post, the Economist's Certain Ideas of Europe blog announces its end after 22 months. I have questions, but no answers. Has the Economist run out of ideas about Europe? Has the writer of the Europe blog has left? Has the Economist decided that blogs don't fit in its online personality? The final post directs readers to a number of other locations, but not to another blog. How will this change the Economist's...
Flowers for France’s Presidency, Brickbats for the Commission
December 18, 2008
It seems that France has had a good presidency. It could hardly have been a more challenging one, but despite the occasional sniff of folie de grandeur, President Nicolas Sarkozy has proved to be the man of the hour, with the élan needed to make things happen. Foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and finance minister Christine Lagarde have also been key players. The French presidency’s handling of the Georgia crisis reinforced Europe’s diplomatic credibility, while the...
FH Brussels Named Consultancy of the Year at the European Agenda Awards 2008
December 15, 2008
On 3 December, FH Brussels was named Consultancy of the Year at the European Agenda Awards 2008 in Brussels...
Reassuring Words for an Autumn Vote in Ireland?
December 10, 2008
“The way forward is beginning to emerge”. So said Dick Roche, Ireland’s minister for European affairs, on the eve of the Brussels December summit. It looks like a second Irish referendum for the autumn of 2009. The Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen is expected to tell EU colleagues that he will seek a second referendum in the autumn as long as some reassuring protocols can be agreed. These would deal with taxation (where corporate rates have...
Digital Tools in Public Affairs – presentation and links
December 8, 2008
Image by TPCOM via Flickr Last week I presented at the inaugural European Public Affairs Summit on digital public affairs. What was billed as a workshop quickly became an empassioned plea for more consideration of the use of digital tools in Brussels based public affairs. Thanks in any case to all those souls who attended, engaged in questions and answers and gave feedback to me or other FHers. All much appreciated. Any questions that have...
We have a winner: digital communications sweeps Brussels awards ceremony
December 4, 2008
Last night saw the inaugural European Agenda Public Affairs Summit Gala Award ceremony, the second award ceremony of the season. Held in the (prestigious?) Renaissance Hotel's Ball Room complete with US style oscar night voice overs (could they not find a European?) and Eurovision-esque compere, at least three of the awards recognised the role of the digital communications in Brussels. Worthy winner of the Commissioner of the Year, Miglena Kuneva, talked about the importance of...
‘Czech’ it out
December 4, 2008
The Czech Presidency of the EU has launched its website. Most of the pages (Calendar, News and Documents, Media Service, About the EU) will not be available until January 1, 2009. At first glance, the design is appealing. Don't miss this page where one can download all sorts of visual materials and versions of the Czech Presidency logo. But, it's not all about style. Let's hope that this Presidency website is easier to use than...
Council Scuppers Transfer of Telecoms Power to Brussels
November 30, 2008
It seems that any major transfer of power from the national level to the European Commission for EU telecoms regulation has been scuppered by the Council of Ministers. Commissioner Reding had threatened ten days ago to withdraw Commission proposals if ministers refused to go along with them, but the Council’s political agreement on November 27 was unanimous (albeit with abstentions by the Dutch, the Swedes and the Brits), so will form the basis of negotiations...
Digitization of cultural content – Commission enters into unknown territory
November 21, 2008
In ancient times, the library of Alexandria was said to contain up to 70% of all human knowledge. Aiming to reap the benefits of the digital age, the European Commission wants to do even better than that. It was against this background that the Commission launched the EU's digital libraries initiative in 2006 aiming to make Europe’s cultural resources and scientific records digitally accessible to all. This project saw daylight on 20 November 2008 with...