Just another social networking site?

A new social networking site has just hit the digital shelves, but rather than existing solely to aid procrastination, this one appears to have a point to it.

myparl.eu is a political forum and social networking tool for parliamentarians in Europe, including both MEPs and MPs of the member states. On top of allowing European politicians to poke each other and update their relationship status, the site aims to encourage networking between various levels of political strata in Europe and foster debate about legislation at the national and European level.

Topics of any kind can be discussed, but debate will be encouraged on three themes in particular: the Future of Europe, Energy and Climate Change and Intercultural Dialogue. It seems myparl.eu have also managed to get their hands on some interesting coordinators for these forums including: Stanley Crossick, founder of the European Policy Centre, ex-EP Vice President Elly Plooij and David Kral, founder of Prague think-tank Europeum.

The site is for parliamentarians, by parliamentarians and although plenty of MEPs are already digitally inclined, this may entice those at the back of the pack to enter the age of politics 2.0. The project also appears to be a renewed attempt at involving member state parliamentarians in European affairs, with a view to addressing the democratic deficit through networking and open debate. 

The project is being sponsored by the European Commission, and is due to be officially launched in October this year.


June 03, 2008 | 12:55 PM

I see your point. However, maybe the project has a much longer scope than just the current parliament. There is nothing to say that the change of parliamentarians in 2009 will spell the end for the project. Those unelected will have to step down from the platform and new ones will join. The project can just be run as a parellel to the membership. In fact, new MEPs may reinvigorate the platform as they are eager to establish themselves. You are right that it might not be the best time to start a project which will essentially be run on MEPs spare time at the busiest time of year legislatively, not to mention election campaigns. That is unless MEPs use it to their advantage and the political groups use the platform to increase cooperation and pan-European policy coherence.

June 03, 2008 | 12:03 PM

While the project goal as such are ambitious but good, there is one major question: what happens to the project after the European elections next year? It looks rather short-sighted to invest 4 million euros in a project that lasts only last 9 months and which is depending on MEPs support, who are themselves preparing for their election campaign.