image from www.nicetomeeteu.com
I’ve had a summer broadly off Euroblogging, in the main part because so little happens in Brussels in August.
I’ve also for work purposes avoided blogging on a number of EU-related issues which interest me. A necessary sacrifice.
So EU-wise my blog’s been a bit quiet recently.
The thing is, I’ve also used the time to work out a bit what I care about, what motivates me to blog. Yep, it’s my navel gazing post only a month after the majority of EU blogs went through this …
Over the last couple of years, my euroblogging has evolved to be focused on the UK’s relationship with the EU, and looking at the EU through a gender focus and faith focus. I blog irregularly as I’ve other commitments, but I hope my slightly different take is interesting for my readers. And I think overall I’m pretty happy with these things as my euroblogging USP.
I mean, I could critique the current common transport policy, the Tax Payers’ Alliance’s problems with the Trans European Networks Executive Agency, or seafarers and the ILO, but I’m not sure that would be very interesting. I’ve tried to cover my interest in transport via practical posts on HS1 instead…
I’ve never cared a lot about agriculture beyond what I can see in the fields or arrives on my plate, and much as I care about climate change I’m just not sure enough on my numbers to do in-depth critiques of these sort of things. So when I do do something in-depth, I probably do care about it, and I do know what I’m talking about. I hope.
And have put off playing with my toddler to write it.
At the moment, with the “new school term” coming, I’m getting a bit of a sinking back to school feeling.
I’m not quite sure why, but I suspect there’s an element of not feeling very inspired by politics overall at the moment.
In the UK there’s a big and actually quite exciting political experiment going on – the first coalition government in a very long time and a referendum coming on a change to a voting system that none of the political parties specifically wants.
But while the big picture is exciting, day to day life is currently a question of which public service is going to change next and what does that mean for daily life for my friends and family. And the attitude to the EU is – complicated.
And in the EU, there’s a weird sort of situation.
While the Lisbon Treaty is implemented (but hardly to public acclaim), and European External Action Service is established (and as male-dominated as we feared and expected), and the Council President is up and running (with an eye on consolidating a more wide ranging role during the Belgian Presidency of the EU), and all the little changes are put in place, I just don’t feel that there’s anything in particular to be enthusiastic about.
The euro is hanging in there, but I’m not finding discussions about greater economic governance inspiring – may be I would if the UK had been part of it and my daily life were being affected, but we’re not in “prepare and decide” mode any more, nor even “wait and see”.
And how long did it take the EU to get its act together for the people in Pakistan?
On top of that, I’m slowly realising that there’s no easy way back to Brussels in the near future. To work there again any time soon, I’d need to make some pretty serious life changes. I may not even work on EU issues soon. But that gives me more scope to blog
I’m never going to be a daily blogger, or a several-times-a-day one.
I’m fed up with feeling that unless you can give all hours of the day to something, you are ancillary to it. How on earth can any parent give 100% to anything, including their kids, and still make a difference in their other spheres of interest? Why can’t the quality of contribution count as well as quantity?
And when it’s something I do for the fun of it, to test ideas and provoke conversations, I’m certainly not buying into a set of rules of the how and when. I’m definitely a cat to herd rather than a sheep and so I guess I know I’m in good company in the euroblogging world
So I’m feeling a bit Eurobleugh.
I’m not in the mood for flannel, or theory over experience and applied example.
I want to know that it’s all worthwhile, that there really is an added value to me as a citizen in what’s going on – at all levels of decision-making.
I guess it’d be lovely to be seeing something happening that actually makes a difference for the good, rather than being the least worst option available.
So now I’ve got all that off my chest, let’s start September euroblogging with a positive attitude and see if there’s some good, persuasive arguments for what’s going on out there…