Cyprus Presidency meeting with bloggers: Call for involvement!

We here at have been contacted by the EU representation of Cyprus in Brussels. Cyprus is the next presidency of the EU Council (July-December 2012), and they would like to organise a meeting between the Presidency as well as Cypriot and other European bloggers. This is a follow-up to last year, when the Hungarian Council Presidency opened up to bloggers.

The meeting with the Cypriot Presidency shall take place on 12 July 2012, in the afternoon, in a central venue in Brussels and will be followed by a cocktail. The meeting will be opened by the Permanent Representative of Cyprus.

What is not decided yet is the format and the substance of this meeting, and since we have been asked to make suggestions, we thought it would be better to make this a public discussion rather than a private brainstorming.

We thus invite all of you to make proposals and suggestions, ask questions and voice criticism. Use the comments below or your own blogs and websites (put the link into the comments if the trackback doesn’t do it automatically), and feel free do so in any language, not just English*.

We editors will do the same and comment as individuals below this post or on our blogs, and in one week, Tuesday 29 May, we shall see what we all together have proposed to do – or not to do. The Cyprus presidency should then see what suggestions they would like to consider and which may not be feasible for them.

* If you want to comment in Greek or Cyrillic letters, please check before whether our comment section supports the full Unicode (i.e. better save your comment before posting). Not sure we installed this after our 2010 experiment:)

Picture: By eucy (flickr) | BY-NC-SA


MacarenaMay 22nd, 2012 at 14:13

Could this possible meeting to be webstreamed? Nonsense for me doing a cocktail networking to involve “euro” bloggers who are based along the EU. Thanks for the post Ronny and thanks to the Cyprus presidency for the initiative.

MartinMay 22nd, 2012 at 14:24

Nice effort by the Cypriot Presidency. I especially like the idea to bring to together bloggers that normally would meet.

I also like the idea that the event is not entirely preplanned. The more involvement is being allowed the higher the chance could be that this meeting is more than a simple Brussels cocktail thing.

For instance, why not make this afternoon a small Presidency blogger’s camp with one or two substantial sessions where Cypriot and EU bloggers can truely meet and exchange and learn from each other.

However, it’s a pity for all those not Brussels based, hence cannot attend. Any chance it’s going to be streamed over the web?

ChristianeMay 22nd, 2012 at 14:36

That’s a great idea. I’d love to meet more bloggers who blog about EU related topics. I like the idea of Martin with the blogger’s camp. I’d love to hear presentations of blogs (especially about those I can’t read because I don’t speak the language). What good / bad experience did bloggers have? How is the response in their country? etc.

GergelyMay 22nd, 2012 at 14:53

As someone who has been at the start of this opening up the Council project, I would love to see transparency from the Presidency, not only from the bloggers. It’s a great idea to invite bloggers to talk and have a drink and it helps building networks, which is commendable. But the real test will be the use of social media by presidency diplomats . Will they blog? (I would love to see this) Will they take the net step and allow “normal” diplomats to tweet or only the spokespeople?
I know the Cypriot team will be small and will fight an uphill struggle, but that’s just another reason to embrace social media.

kosmopolitMay 22nd, 2012 at 18:36

Good idea – but it is 2012 why not organise an open webinar/hangout/online conference?

mathewMay 22nd, 2012 at 21:42

Second kosmopolit. Why a physical meeting when you could have a weekly online video chat? There could be a different topic every week, with a moderator pulling in bloggers from different countries with a particular interest in that week’s topic (always reserving some seats for Cypriots, I guess), as well as relevant non-bloggers from the Institutions.

The topic selection could follow the EU policy agenda, and/or be a topic of discussion in itself, with groups of bloggers forming behind topic suggestions, and thus being selected for the video chat core (a much wider circle of people could use text chat to comment and ask questions).

All technically possible, but this being Brussels I’ll wager a moule frite that it’ll end up a cocktail party in some restaurant somewhere …

Cyprus.Diverse.CityMay 22nd, 2012 at 22:08

Great Idea – the blogger camp suggestion is a good idea as proposed by Martin. I second also Gergely’s point about approaching social media as quite different from typical PR relations.

AlvaroMay 22nd, 2012 at 22:32

I agree with Mathew, the physical meeting in Brussels presents one main problem: the distance. An important part of eurobloggers are from outside Bxl, the idea of a physical meeting makes more sense if the Cypriot Presidency could organise a 2-day conference (perhaps partially funded by the own Cypriot Presidency or the EU Council) with bloggers and presidency officials (Diplomats, COREPER, Press and Media Team..).

In case that a conference would not be possible, would be great a monthly Google Hangout (or Skype, instead), simultaneous videochat with bloggers and presidency officials, with one specific debate theme each month.

Two ideas are (of course) complementary!

ralfMay 22nd, 2012 at 22:50

I will be there for
Let me know about details.

[...] island presidency – will take over the EU Council Presidency from Denmark. And they have proposed a bloggers meeting on 12 July in Brussels, a meeting that should bring together bloggers from Cyprus and other European bloggers, as well as [...]

Eric B.May 24th, 2012 at 0:05

Great idea. I suggest we meed in the Residence Palace, which is fully equipped with WiFi, Bar, Cocktails .-) And it is well known and central. Please keep me posted!

Joe LitobarskiMay 24th, 2012 at 9:57

I’ll also try to be there!

It would be a good idea to livestream it. If there’s high-speed wifi, then it would be enough for someone to bring a laptop and webcam and then set up a free account on As long as people don’t expect amazing quality video and audio, it doesn’t really have to be expensive.

It does depend a bit on the format of the event, though. A webcam-quality livestream feed would probably work best in a more informal event setting (but somewhere quiet, without too much background noise). Depending on how many bloggers attend, maybe having people seated round a table might work? With the webcam in the middle, pointed at whoever is speaking?

In terms of the substance of the event: I’d be really interested to hear about the state of the Cypriot blogosphere. How big is it, what are the main blogs, is it mostly independent or journalists, what are the main topics discussed, does it have any impact in the wider public discourse, etc. So, perhaps that could be a way to structure things, as a sort of informal “question and answer” session?

This could even be the first attempt at building a “bridge” to a national blogosphere to try and pop the dreaded Brussels bubble (or, at least, drill a few holes in it).


Vincent HarrisMay 24th, 2012 at 15:06

I’m a politics focused blogger near Brussels and would like to participate in this event. An opportunity to meet other bloggers and to exchange ideas and build a virtual but real European public sphere. The Cyprus Presidency has the opportunity, through this event, to create more space for the diversity that exist in the longtail of Europe’s blogosphere. Blogging is part of free movement while it gives us the opportunity to interact across borders and as such contribute to the organic aspects of the European project. One advice to the Cyprus presidency is to actively search for potential participants beyond the specific EU focused bloggers. Create the opportunity to participate both off- and online.

Karsten LuckeMay 24th, 2012 at 21:44

I really would appreciate to come. If I can make it possible I will – someone who can recommend / organize a (cheap) overnight?

I heard just yesterday from a former French MEP that people working for the EU do their job to keep the European engine going but they do not care about the citizens. Euroblogging could be a good opportunity to proof her wrong. I very much like the idea of meeting personally but what about a “longtime”presence during a presidency. Every single EU presidency could set up a Euroblogging section on the presidency website as a contribution to European citizens and their engagement in European affairs. Just a proposal to discuss about.

[...] EuroBloggers call to meet the Cyprus Euro Presidency, we couldn’t see it more fit to replicate the same call but to Cyprus Bloggers on the island for an opportunity to Unconference the Cyprus Europresidency and a chance to debate how from a media perspective the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the Europan union could unfold from a citizen journalism perspective. [...]

BlogCyEu2012May 29th, 2012 at 15:55

Let’s see if this and other initiatives Fly – we’re looking to organise a meeting in Nicosia ahead of your meeting in July. It would be good for a small representation to attend your meeting and thus help with enabling connections to be made. In the comings days we will be able announce the venue for it.

[...] de la présidence hongroise d’accréditer des eurobloggers aux réunions du Conseil de l’UE, la future présidence chypriote vient d’inviter les eurobloggers à un événement organisé à [...]

[...] contact with the Euroblogosphere and try to stimulate communication with the blogosphere in Cyprus. Read the call for involvement. The meeting in Brussels on July 12th is another chance to develop the community of European [...]

Argyro ToumazouJune 5th, 2012 at 16:41

I would also appreciate to come. Please give me more information about the meeting in Brussels.
Thank you

Eric B.July 10th, 2012 at 17:53

Still no details on the meeting. I guess it will be cancelled!?

RonJuly 12th, 2012 at 10:52

The Cyprus Presidency spokesperson has just informed on Twitter that the meeting is now foreseen for 26 July, and that registration will be possible via their homepage from 16 July.

[...] spokespersons (Marianna & Nikos) of the Cyprus representation to brainstorm over a coffee what the suggestions received from bloggers could [...]

[...] Commission asked for a 6.8% budget raise from 2012 to 2013 (we assume). For EU blogging nerds, the Cyprus’ presidency’s call to meet with bloggers will be remembered. And for invented-word-nerds, the birth of “Grexit” may be high on [...]

kongra.go.thMay 17th, 2013 at 10:50

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drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple
ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with

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