Blogactiv Director

After a couple of recent posts about 2009, I thought it would be nice to record my favourite content of the year.

I have an unusual position. I don’t read every blog post – I don’t have the time – but I try to read one (or preferably two) posts each day. Over the course of a year, that is a lot of blog posts!

On top of this, I am almost certainly the most prolific blogger in EU affairs. Whenever you see a post on Blogactiv that could be from an event (Eureka in Lisbon, FFA, EWA, EBS, Copenhagen, EurActiv and more), it was almost certainly by me. Add in this blog, another I have on the platform (anonymously) and my own blog, and I am pretty active! Of course, it is my job to be…

But I also have a behind-the-scenes viewpoint. I have been lucky enough to meet lots of our bloggers and am in regular contact with a few. Blogactiv is becoming a little like a friendly club. I hope it continues.


What were my highlights of the year?

The Irish Referendum

We had some really interesting posts in advance of the Irish vote. EU Jim (as we at Blogactiv came to fondly regard him) wrote some warm, interesting and local posts from Ireland about public opinion. Great.

On the day of the results, EurActiv’s own Irishman Gary Finnegan spent his Saturday in the office to blog live about the results. It was the best read post of the month.

Another live blog about a completely unrelated topic came from Bogdan. His posts came thick and fast about European digital rights. Very interesting.

A French Star

Our star for the year shone brightly, gathered a following and then dimmed fast. It was a reminder that the real world is more important than the blogosphere when Eurojunkie was offered a high-profile job that allows no public utterances. We miss him!

Speaking of missing people, the blogger most likely to challenge our conventional thinking was Herve. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get to meet him, despite him knowing a number of my colleagues. A few weeks ago we were sent the sad news that he has passed away. I know no more details than that I’m afraid. I’m sure all of us that have read his writing will agree with me that it was deep, intellectual, challenging and humourous. Our condolences go out to his family.


The EU year was dominated by elections. The EP elections in the summer brought up some interesting things, most noteably for me a post about Bulgarians selling their votes for up to US$100 each. I am sorry to say that the author has since deleted the entire blog, so I cannot post a link. Anyway, it was very revealing…

The elections caused some political changes and one was the entry of Guy Verhofstadt into the European Parliament. We got our interview at the EurActiv Awards where we felt the glitz and glamour of politics.

Longest Posts

We have a range of longest posts, almost all of which come from Laurent Ledoux. He writes well and is incredibly thoughtful, so I recommend that you set aside the time soon to acquaint yourself with his writing if you have not already.

In the battle for length – a cheap gag, sorry – is Mathew. His writing about the online public space for the EU has been fascinating this year, this post and this post stood out for me.

Blogging Stamina

There can only be one nomination for stamina on Blogactiv. All others must be overlooked in comparison. In fact, the competition has the same person entered twice!

Early in the year Stanley emailed me 6 posts to add to his blog during the course of the week. He emailed me from hospital. Later in the year, we received 7 posts in one day from him. No competition.

Hardest Working Blogger

Not much competition for this either. I am reliably informed that lf5422 and Mauro Striano are one and the same. I am also under the impression that he is employed to blog. Congratulations! Our French section would be far poorer without him.

From my part, there was a show of persistence with a tangible reward. I asked Claus for a recommendation of potentially interesting bloggers in November 2008. He suggested Ann Mettler and from there started about five months of booking and postponing meetings. Ann is seriously busy. The result is one I am very pleased with. Ann writes interesting pieces about her views on innovation and progress for Europe. If ever there is to be an award for most committed European, Ann ought to be shortlisted.

Most Successful Post

As I have already mentioned here, Brussels Blogger’s post about SWIFT and information sharing was a smash! It proves that we don’t all only speak to each other in this little bubble of ours.

My Personal Moment of Pride

At the start of 2009, I heard about the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Being something of a ‘greenie’ and thinking I ought to be able to do something cool, I established the Copenhagen blog. At the time I was egged on by Eberhard and I hope that almost a year later I have delivered something unique, interesting and informative. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I have had to approach to get the content you now see.

But as a bonus, I shall be attending the final few days of Copenhagen to conduct video interviews for the blog and EurActiv with one of EurActiv’s editorial team. My hope is that by the end, it will be first-rate expert content and a valuable record of an important year. Keep your eyes peeled next week!

I would like to publicly thank Eberhard for his content and encouragement, both were really appreciated.

Climate Change Denial

Back in July, we received a post from Svetoslav about climate change which then sparked a flurry of incredibly long emails and replies. Svetoslav’s blog is something to really take the time to look over. He writes well, but on some very unusual topics. And I don’t think that any of us will ever see a post that references the author in so many ways.


So that is my look back at the year. If I missed you, please don’t be offended. We had lots of other very interesting stuff across the platform, but Blogactiv received a little over 2,000 posts in 2009, so there is a lot of potential to write about.

Over the course of the year the platform has had work or assistance from Pierre-Antoine, Dave, David, Scott, Stephane, Michael, Greg and, of course, Jorge. Thanks for all your efforts. And thanks to all our bloggers. This place wouldn’t be the same without you all.

Merry Christmas,


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