Tell Barroso

3. April 2009 – 17:48 by

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A new web-survey – labeled with the telling name „“ - invites all EU-citizens to post their opinion about the EU policy areas. The survey suggests that the messages go all the way up to José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission. It seems odd though that the institution behind the survey is a party-affiliated think tank.

The distance to Brussels has never been shorter: The website suggests the direct interaction between you, the EU-cititzen, and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. Barroso invites you to post your opinion about the policy areas of the European Union and how it can “improve your“ life. And he promises, that is a „simple, non-partisan web poll“.

It is indeed simple. In a first step, you have to tick some social indicators, most likely for statistical reasons. In a second step, the user is invited to name a policy area and post his/her opinion about it. The third step constitutes a nice clickable feature, which is a sort of opinion-dartboard. By drag-and-drop the user arranges a random selection of statements around the bullseye. The distance to the centre of the board thereby indicates the importance of the particular statement.

However, the non-partisan bit of the poll is quite questionable. The institution behind this service is the Centre of European Studies, a think tank affiliated with the European People’s Party EPP, which constitutes the largest faction in the European Parliament. It is not so much a disturbing fact that Barroso, an EPP member himself, offers his image and his name for an interactive process which generates EU-citizens’ opinion about the EU and its work. Yet it becomes an issue if such poll is marked as non-partisan whereas the party-links appear that obvious.

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