The EU machine is back up and running

The staff of the different institutions are back from Xmas holidays and life in the EU-bubble in Brussels is picking up again. The European parliament prepares for the hearings of the candidate Commissioners next week.
In the European Commission we are, on the one hand, waiting for the outcome of that, of course. On the other hand the preparations for the new European External Action Service (EEAS) are in full swing. The first coordination meeting on communication and web activities at our level took place just before Xmas and now we work on the follow up. As everybody could see there are two webpages for Baroness Ashton, no surprise as her job is double-hatted. High representative at the Council but also Vice-president in the European Commission. Hence a page here and a page there! This is a bit confusing for the users and for us working on these pages.
Therefore you will soon see the arrival of a first mini-website for the EEAS. On this site all news around Baroness Ashton and the preparations for the EEAS will appear and the Council and Commission pages for her will be more or less static with background info (CV etc.).
At the same time we are brainstorming on what content should appear on the EEAS-site once the EEAS has started.
I will keep you updated about that process as much as possible!

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3 Reacties to “The EU machine is back up and running”

  1. 9 Janvier 2010 « EU Weekly Says:

    […] leave a comment » Cette semaine, l’Union se remet en route après les vacances de Noël et Nouvel an [1]. […]

  2. peter franks Says:

    Could you make the sites interesting and use web tools like twitter. If you are looking for inspiration or an example, the swedish eu presidency ran a good show during their six month stint at the healm (sadly not followed up by the spanish.. ) Can you fill the gap?
    Currently Eu sites are somewhat dull and i’m wondering how long it will take before europe catches up with developments in the real world (Obama did it for the US, will ashton do it for the EEAS?? If anything it fits the bill of communicating with the citizens and by passes nasty editors and media moguls!! The power is there – you just have to seize the opportunity and the day!!! 😉
    I look forward to the High Rep joining twitter and reading “back in Brussels after a nice weekend in london with the family”.. it’s rather pointless non-information but people feel like they get to know the person when they read mundane things like this..

  3. dicknieuwenhuis Says:

    Peter,
    we have started to use Twitter as a tool ourselves (and blogs and Facebook). But a (political) bureaucracy is not the easiest place to start discussing live on a wild variety of issues such as in our case on Foreign Policy. Ever tried to summarise any government policy in 140 characters? Moreover, just using Twitter a such is not going to help that much. It need to be part of an overall strategy. See my other posting here on the Open Letter.
    I am afraid there is little we (in the European Commission) can do about what the Member States want or not want when they have the presidency.
    I agree with you that our sites are dull (but sometimes the subject is just dull) and we are working hard to change. But as our sites are quite big this isn’t done overnight. We need to think of people that have got the habit to use it and find information. Believe me, a complete overhaul of an existing big site takes months to do it properly. We are in the process of migrating 136 different sites of all our offices worldwide. Imagine…
    But have a look at the new layout of the Commission homepage , most of my Twitter followers seem to like it!
    You mention Obama. Well he and his people now know that using social media in an election campaign to mobilise people to vote is one thing. But doing the same once you are in the White House and doing the day-to-day business of running a large administration, that’s another pair of shoes!!
    As all this is new there aren’t that many standard recipes around. Big private companies equally are struggling to see what the best way forward is.

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