There was one question/remark by a professor who attended my talk on “Europe in Blogs and Social Networks” yesterday – the pre-workshop blog posts are here and here – that quite hit the nail on the head.
His question was in how far blogging/social media actually impacted EU politics. And he added that if blogging/social media would not have any impact, people might simply (re-)concentrate on what’s going on locally around their corner instead of caring for EU politics.
As I’ve said in my previous post, there are probably not that many recent examples where EU blogs and social media influenced EU policy, maybe Citzalia (project dead, it appears), maybe through #NoToHuEU (the blog action against censorship in Hungary), maybe on SWIFT but for all these examples you’d find reasons why they have not been that successful in the end.
Given this situation, the professorial question struck me because it pretty well reflects what I’m thinking these days. Is it worth caring for EU politics if there are so many useful initiatives around me here in Berlin? Is it worth wasting time trying to impact institutions whose speed of change is so slow that generally they lag behind technological and social developments by 5-10 years where the same amount of time invested locally can actually bring change in a short time?
I’d say that what the professor was implying actually goes to the heart of the matter:
Either EU institutions start taking citizens seriously, or even those who took these institutions seriously until now will turn their eyes away and go local. Or, as I’ve said earlier this year: