What happened after we send an Open Letter to Barroso and the incoming new Commissioners? A number of us had a chat with a member of his “cabinet” (private office) who was genuinely interested in what we proposed. The Open letter and an article will be published in the Commission’s internal newsletter “Commission en Direct” most likely with a reaction from Barroso or his cabinet. Wait and see!
The Commission’s webmasters and internet editors had a half day workshop on social media and the use of it. It was good to see that a number of Commissions departments have started to use Twitter, facebook and the like while many others are planning to do so. But first wait for the new Commission to arrive, always a time of changes and turbulence (for better or for worse!).
A number of Twitter friends and I got together to plan for the next Open Beer #3, which will take place on the 1st of March 2010 in Brussels near Place Luxembourg.
In the office we worked hard to improve the pages for HR/VP Ashton (1) and to launch a page where all information on the Haiti crisis could be found. The HR/VP coordinates all this so it should be visible on her pages.
In the meantime we also launched “sotto voce” the new site for the European External Action Service (EEAS), ie a site called “European Union – External Action”. The Commission and Council staff working for Mrs Ashton and involved in building up of the EEAS work together to publish on this site all relevant information on the EU’s foreign policy. Have a look at http://eeas.europa.eu/. The site is in English for the moment but will appear in French as well in the next days. The cooperation is both interesting and challenging and everyone involved feels that we are setting up something new. Of course, it is not always easy to put people together that come from quite different administrative and hierarchical backgrounds. And at the same we face some technical difficulties as both sides work in different IT environments.
In the next months the site will grow into a complete website covering all activities of the EEAS once it’s up and running.
All this is happening while the normal work on other websites and projects (Shanghai Expo 2010, for example) continues.
But we take a rest in the weekend and write a blog!!!
1. Following the entry into force of The Treaty of Lisbon, the European Council appointed Catherine Ashton High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In this capacity, she chairs the Foreign Affairs Council. Drawing on her role as Vice-President of the European Commission, she ensures the consistency and coordination of the European Union’s external action. The High Representative will be assisted, once it is established, by the European External Action Service (EEAS).