Sunday

18th Aug 2019

Internet was strong forum for French 'no' vote

A new study has shown how instrumental the internet was for the no campaigners in France, after a wave of analyses on why French voters rejected the EU Constitution in their May referendum.

Carried out by researchers at the University of Technology of Compiegne, the report reveals that those against the constitution mainly invested in websites for their campaigns.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

It also showed that on the 295 sites dedicated to the referendum campaign, 67 percent of those asked to give their opinion on the EU charter voted no.

"The web served as a political tribunal for those who considered themselves distanced from television formats or big-time media, transforming the web into a sort of negative medium", according to the authors of the research, Franck Ghitalla and Guilhem Fouetillou.

This negative medium appeared to help reinforce the negative vote, they add.

The authors also show how small virtual communities were gradually built up around the no campaign on the internet.

The movement even had its own stars, with one no campaigner's site getting up to 30,000 hits a day.

"In the debate on the constitution, the commitment of [those] in favour of a no was massive and it is they who brought the ingredients, the arguments for the no vote", said Mr Ghitalla, according to French daily Liberation.

The study also showed how no sites had a better record of linking to other anti-constitution sites (79%) when compared to pro-constitution sites, where only 64 percent linked to other yes sites.

Pro-constitution sites were also less likely to promote discussion and counter-opinions about the document.

France voted no to the constitution on 29 May, followed three days later by a rejection in the Netherlands.

The votes by two founding members of the EU plunged the bloc into a political maelstrom from which it still has to recover.

It is still not clear what the next political steps will be regarding the constitution, which legally has to be ratified by all 25 member states before it can come into force.

Exclusive

Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings

The German former secretary-general of the European Commission held some 21 meetings which were registered in the lobby register. But no documents appeared to exist summarising what was said.

Exclusive

EU parliament rejects ombudsman over expenses

The European Parliament questions whether the ombudsman had the right to criticise the institution's "margin of discretion" in deciding on publication of confidential papers about the controversial monthly €4,513 expenses lump sum for MEPs.

Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules

Only half of EU staff claim good knowledge of their workplace's ethics rules, while 82 percent of staff at the European Parliament have never attended any ethics trainings, according to a report by the European Court of Auditors.

News in Brief

  1. Trump turned down: Greenland not for sale
  2. UK Libdems would back Clarke or Harman as new PM
  3. Six countries agree to take 'Open Arms' ship migrants
  4. Gibraltar judge: Iranian ship should be released
  5. Increasing fears of a global recession
  6. Far-right hate crimes on the rise in Germany
  7. EU steel tariffs have 'worked well' so far
  8. Italian court: Migrant rescue ship can enter Italian waters

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Magazine

Explained: What is the European Parliament?

While domestic political parties often use the European Parliament as a dumping ground for unwanted politicians - and a majority of citizens don't bother to vote - the parliament, over the years, has become a dominant force in the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings
  2. EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock
  3. Internal EU paper: Second Brexit vote was no longer 'distant dream'
  4. EU has 'zero incentive' to break open 'trilogue' deals
  5. Denmark plans import ban on EU-approved pesticide
  6. US offers Johnson helping hand on Brexit
  7. Italy: New government without Salvini in the making
  8. Brexit row delays financial products transparency review

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us