Who we are
We are the members of the Web Communications team of the European Parliament. We write and publish the daily news about the Parliament you will find on the “Headlines” page of its website. Because we do this in 22 languages simultaneously, we are a multinational group, with one editor per language, each writing in his or her mother tongue.
As well as being a mixed bag linguistically and culturally, we are also a new and relatively young team. Most of us are in our first job in the EU institutions and only really came together as a team at the beginning of 2007. We hope that we have a fresh and young perspective on what happens in the Parliament. At the same time, we are professionals, committed to our job of communicating to real people, in comprehensible language, what this Parliament is doing in their name. This is also the reason we have decided to start this blog.
We are employees of the European Parliament, not members. Nobody elected us. Therefore there are rightly limits on what we can say and do with our blog. Though we will be speaking for ourselves, and ourselves only, we remain under a clear obligation not to take political sides and to avoid the expression of our own political views (which are quite varied). While on the company’s time, so to speak, we are bound by an obligation of neutrality, non-partisanship and objectivity, just as we are when we write for the website.
On the other hand, the reason we have set up this blog is to allow us to express ourselves in a way we cannot when we write for the Parliament’s main website. This is our opportunity to communicate differently – personally – with the internet community, to talk about our work, to reflect honestly about its challenges and difficulties, to give an insight into how we go about doing our job and to go behind the scenes of Parliament’s work. If, in doing so, we manage to reveal the fact that there are real people working inside these too often faceless institutions, people who are not the soulless bureaucrats and ideologues of newspaper fantasy, then so much the better.
How we will blog
We will take it in turns to blog on this site, so there should be a fairly mixed diet over time. We expect the different personalities of our team to show through. We hope to post several entries a week.
We have decided, after some reflection, to blog in English, though this is a native language only for a couple of us, and will not be the native language of most of those who read us. We thought of mixing the languages up a bit, but opted for English for two reasons. First, using English is the choice which will exclude the fewest readers from being able to understand each entry posted. Second, the use of a single language will ensure the best possible “flow” between entries, allowing readers to follow our output over time. Though we publish Parliament’s “Headlines” page in all our languages, this just isn’t feasible here, and wouldn’t really work for a blog anyway.
What is our blog about?
As we set out, bright-eyed, into the blogosphere, we think we have an idea about where this blog might take us, but the beauty of it is that you never really know, do you?
However, we plan for this blog to be about our job. We will talk about the realities of working for the European Parliament in the communications sector: our plans and projects, the difficulties and challenges we encounter. We will look at what’s going on in internet communications in the wider world, what lessons and opportunities there might be for us. We will also stay closer to home –what we have done we are glad we have done, what we have done we wish we hadn’t done, what we didn’t do we should have done and what we didn’t do we’re glad we didn’t do!
This is also our chance to tell some stories. Life in the European Parliament offers a wealth of interesting subject matter which often goes unmentioned: personalities, eccentricities, events, and – yes – politics. We ourselves spend our professional lives looking for what’s hot, what’s interesting, what’s amusing in the European Parliament; we talk to all the actors: MEPs, visiting presidents, statesmen and stateswomen, experts and VIP guests; if anyone knows what’s going on, it’s us. So now we get to pass on some of our good stories…