Jerzy Buzek, the Polish President of the European Parliament, has had a Twitter account for a week and has so far been delivering his daily tweet. The President and his communications team have strongly committed themselves to digital openness, with Mr Buzek already having a facebook account and his presidential website.The Lobby warmly welcomes Mr Buzek to the world of social media, but what are you doing here Mr President?
Luckily Mr Buzek himself gives the answer in a press release: “It is a pleasure and a need to use all forms of communication. The European Parliament is increasingly influential and must be increasingly present. Modern technology including social media gives people the opportunity to interact and have their say.”
Mr Buzek is right. Outside Brussels people might know the name of the President of the Commission and will likely become more and more familiar with the President of the European Council, but – seriously – who knows Mr Buzek? So in this new battle for attention, any means of communication has to be used.
But the message can’t only be the medium. Content is also needed, and the President of the Parliament, whatever his communication means, he will have to stand up for key issues and take strong positions in negotiations with the Commission and the Council if he is to become one of the main EU personalities. It sounds like mission impossible in the consensual and crowded Brussels, but that’s no reason not to try, is it?