The Week in Bloggingportal: Hungarian music, European dances
The music box here at Bloggingportal.eu ivory towers has been playing Hungarian Dances all week after we called for a European Blog Action against the Hungarian media law last Tuesday. We were hoping to transform the jangling discords of our future EU Council Presidency into a more beautiful symphony of European citizenship, asking in the Presidency’s own words: “But what, if?”
What if citizens of Europe weren’t as disconnected from each other as some try to make us think? What if we could show that Hungary concerns all of us and that this is about more than simply giving background information on the matter? What if Hungary was a proof that there is a European public sphere or at least a European public? What if we were able to show that citizens from around the Union would raise their voices against a China in the midst of Europe, on their blogs, on Twitter, on Facebook?
What if we weren’t just furious about seemingly far-away countries such as Belarus? What if we were not only trying to report about what was really happening in the last European dictatorship, voicing official concern, at least on the Monday after non-democratic “elections”? What if there was more, if we also stopped looking at Hungary without emotions?
What if we made the Vice President of an EU body raise her eyebrows publicly over the new media law and let a famous EU journalist and blogger call the country “The Soviet Republic of Hungary“? What if we made the upcoming Hungarian EU Council Presidency to become more responsive to the concerns of EU citizens instead of just paying lip service on the intention to interact sincerely with the European public?
Lip service. This pretty much sums up the year 2010 for EU communication, a year with many ups and downs in this regard, a year in which EU institutions have moved ahead in their efforts to communicate with the public, although sometimes losing grip with the more basic issues of modern communication, including making EU websites that are visited by more than just a few citizens and experts.
It was a year in which new European blogging platforms opened and closed again. It was a year in which we here at Bloggingportal.eu started a successful Europe-wide translation experiment, in which we had much fun playing the Barroso Buzzword Bingo and that closed with our call for action on the Hungarian media law.
It was a year in which many predictable things happened in the European Union while others caught us European bloggers by surprise.
The following blog posts that we have highlighted in our Editors’ Choice feed last week are good examples for (sadly) not-so-surprising and (sadly) surprising stories that we have covered over the year:
- EU farm workers get richer while irregular migrants are put into detention centres in Greece and other EU countries.
- One of the inventors of the Euro just died while EU leaders violated the EU Treaties to save the Euro.
- In the EU Candidate country Montenegro several senior officials are arrested after the prime minster stepped down (oh, the Balkans…) and the Union for the Mediterranean is still half-dead (oh Sarkozy, what a stupid idea you had in 2008…).
- And not to forget: Yet another European transportation crisis (after the volcano earlier this year) leading to populist reactions by the EU Commission.
These are the last of the several hundred stories from euroblogs that we, the editors of Bloggingportal.eu, have recommended to you in 2010, and we will continue to do so next year.
With 2010, the first decade of the new century is coming to an end next week, and we honestly hope that you’ll have a good year 2011, a year for which we as European bloggers hope that the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press in Europe and beyond will be safeguarded, if not by all our governments at least by us, a European public that is ready to defend our fundamental rights and freedoms.
So please, continue to voice your thoughts and concerns publicly in 2011 in blogs, on Twitter, on Facebook or on the streets and places of your country to make sure we are heard – in our home capitals, in Brussels and wherever those in legitimate or illegitimate power need to hear us!
In short: A happy New Year 2011! (And now let’s dance!)