Sunday

15th Dec 2019

Communications commissioner turns to blogging

The European Commissioner for communications put on weight over the Christmas holidays. She is also a fan of Fado - a schmaltzy type of music originating from Portugal - and thought that 2004 "sucked".

Too much information already? Or are you intrigued by the daily thoughts of Margot Wallström, charged with one of the most difficult jobs in the Commission, bringing Brussels closer to EU citizens?

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Whatever the answer, that's not going to be the last of it.

Mrs Wallström has discovered blogging - the keeping of an online diary.

From Friday (14 January) onwards, the Swedish Commissioner's thoughts will be aired for all to see.

The online journal is to be updated two to three times a week and will contain some personal thoughts but don't expect any revealing political secrets or any dirt dished on other Commissioners.

The closest she gets, in her first entry for the blog, is to remark of former Commissioner Chris Patten that he used to say that two things are not necessary in life -eating cod and listening to Fado.

Jean-Claude Juncker is described as the "chain-smoking colourful" prime minister of Luxembourg.

She does admit that the much-heralded transparent councils, where EU ministers do their work in the open, just mean that everyone now meets instead for really long lunches to do any deals.

So all commissioners are likely to put on weight, she suggests.

Anyone following the Commissioner's blog can write in their thoughts, which will then be posted on the site.

The blog is supposed to reach people that 'Brussels' does not normally reach.

A Commission official said "it's a novel and effective way of communicating to people in normal language".

The Commissioner is just one in a long line of people who have taken to blogging.

It first started around the mid-1990s with people writing their thoughts and daily routines on line - blog is short for weblog.

Blogging is now much more mainstream with millions of blogs on the web.

Bloggers played a huge role during the recent tsunami disaster with eyewitnesses able to provide detailed accounts before journalists got to the scene.

Similarly, during the US election campaign, both the Republicans and the Democrats used blogs to get their message to grassroots supporters; and to find out what their grassroots supporters thought of them.

But although several politicians have blogs, often they are written by harassed press officers.

Mrs Wallström, however, is to write all of her own.

EU values face scrutiny This WEEK

Rule of law, environmental protection, and minority rights will feature high on the agenda in Brussels and Strasbourg as 2019 comes to a close.

EU sighs relief after 'decisive' Johnson victory in UK

The remaining 27 EU countries also told the UK to quickly ratify the withdrawal agreement, and start negotiations on future trade. The EU is keen to protect its own interests and prevent unfair competition from Britain.

Huge win for Conservatives in UK election

Britain is almost certain to leave the EU in January after a huge election win for prime minister Boris Johnson, but Scotland aims to break off and stay.

News in Brief

  1. EU Scream podcast wins media award
  2. Sturgeon will set out Scottish independence plan next week
  3. Slovenia, Croatia ex-leaders highlight jailed Catalans
  4. Italian court tells Facebook to reopen fascist party's account
  5. EU extends sanctions on Russia until mid-2020
  6. UK exit poll gives Johnson majority of 86
  7. Orban: 'financial guarantees' to reach climate neutrality
  8. Merkel hopes EU leaders agree 2050 climate-neutrality

EU values face scrutiny This WEEK

Rule of law, environmental protection, and minority rights will feature high on the agenda in Brussels and Strasbourg as 2019 comes to a close.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. EU values face scrutiny This WEEK
  2. EU sighs relief after 'decisive' Johnson victory in UK
  3. Huge win for Conservatives in UK election
  4. Behind bars: a visit to an imprisoned Catalan politician
  5. Leaders agree 2050 climate neutrality - without Poland
  6. EU leaders cagey on 'Future of Europe' conference
  7. Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit
  8. Revealed: little evidence to justify internal border checks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us