The EU Blog Wars Have Begun
A recent European Commission report leaked earlier this month said that the EU was “losing the battle for hearts and minds” partly because of the activities of anti-EU bloggers. The recent defeat of the Lisbon Treaty in the Irish referendum led Eurocrats to study blog activity in the Republic; they concluded that Eurosceptic blogs, some by anonymous sources, outnumbered pro-treaty blogs. Of course the fact that the main Irish newspapers were overwhelmingly pro-Lisbon didn’t seem to worry them unduly.
“Blogging is also seen as an anti-establishment activity,” the report concluded, complaining that “the quality of debate has suffered” as a result of blog dissent attracting the attention of readers from TV and radio.
Bloggers anonymous and otherwise have good reason to be delighted to have proved a thorn in the EU’s side on this and other issues. The mainstream media on continental Europe is increasingly docile: Blogs offer the only real dissent in some countries. Even in Britain, where Eurosceptic newspapers enjoy a large market share, the reporting of EU issues is feeble: Dedicated Eurosceptic bloggers like Richard North spend almost as much effort correcting false Eurosceptic reporting as they do criticising the EU itself.
That’s Richard North of the excellent EU Referendum.
That bloggers challege the EU establishment comes as no surprise. However, the EU establishment is now changing the game:
The EU itself has decided that bloggers pose a threat to its status and even existence.
This is war.