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5th Mar 2024

Reding does well in online beauty pageant

  • Reding: the 59-year-old Luxembourgish politician did well out of the Roma scandal (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding, single market supremo Michel Barnier and home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom have attracted relatively big numbers of readers to their European Commission websites in the past 10 months.

Internal commission figures seen by EUobserver show that President Jose Manuel Barroso pulled in the most unique visitors overall in the period on 278,512. His top spot is to be expected given the high profile of his office, however.

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Ms Reding came next on 95,305, followed by Mr Barnier (85,944) and Ms Malmstrom (73,272).

In a surprise result, sports and education commissioner Androulla Vassilou came in fifth place out of 27 and energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger came sixth, beating EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton into seventh position (64,412) despite her important portfolio.

Other commissioners with topical jobs also scored poorly: financial affairs commissioner Olli Rehn came 19th (31,882) and climate chief Connie Hedegaard came 20th. The quietly powerful administration commissioner Marcos Sefcovic and taxation commissioner Algirdas Semeta came last.

Some of the numbers tell a story of the past year's events: Ms Reding had a bumper month at the height of her slagging-match with French President Nicolas Sarkozy over Roma expulsions in September and aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva had the most visitors after the Haiti earthquake in March.

In other patterns, interest in Mr Barroso fell by more than half from June onward and interest in Ms Ashton began to wane speedily from April onward. The ravages of the sovereign debt crisis have not so far impacted Mr Rehn's figures.

To put the numbers into perspective, a YouTube video of US President Barack Obama's inauguration speech in 2008 had by 16 December 2010 attracted 4,604,235 viewers. A video of Lady Gaga's 2009 song Bad Romance had 318,955,193 viewers.

EUobserver had 2,935,149 uniqe users in the past 10 months.

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