Berlaymonster is rather critical of an ALDE-funded poster on the bridge over rue Beliard, asking What is the EU for? But big pieces of PVC above Brussels streets are not the only place that the centrist / liberal group is dishing out cash. The large banner ads today at both EUObserver AND Euractiv are both funded by them. Political groups – in largest part – get their cash from the European Parliament’s budget, part of the EU budget, i.e. from taxpayers. Now doing PR is all very well, but people around the EU institutions and readers of the 2 sites in question know what ALDE is. 99.9% of the population of Europe does not. So I think they could be using their cash more wisely.


  1. Valid questions, will do my best to give a complete answer once I’m done with launching atheist buses.

  2. actually, while i’m at it, what would you say the political orientation of the different brussels media are? european voice, parliament, euractiv, europolitics, and us (and i suppose new europe and eureporter, if they’re still running)? is there much of a difference?

  3. i’m curious – are there any articles in particular that makes you think we’re pulled in this direction? i like to think we aren’t influenced by this link, but maybe we are subconsciously. which stories would you say give off such an impression?

    leigh (w/ the euobserver)

  4. Don’t think you can read too much into the Parliament Magazine thing – Catherine Stihler (PES, UK) was the editor until recently.

    On the EUObserver point – the important thing there is whether (or not) their editorial line is impacted by the IND-DEM link. When it comes to Nordic / EU matters I think they are rather partial to Bonde lines.

    But none of that explains the ALDE adverts!

  5. Graham Watson (ALDE chairman) is editor of the Parliament Magazine and EUobserver is edited by the wife of (former) co-chairmen of the INDEM group, Jens-Peter Bonde.

  6. Sorry, that was too quick. The link is rather Euobserver with INDEM group (and The Parliament Magazine with ALDE).

  7. For your information: there is a political link between EUObserver and ALDE. So no surprise to see ALDE ads on that website.

  8. @ Brusselsblogger

    Can you give some details?

  9. @ Sean

    I get your argument, and it sounds logical.

    But why is ALDE apparently the only political party group using those means to the extend they do? Why the other groups are not following in the same line? Don’t they understand Brussels as well as ALDE? Don’t they have even more money? And aren’t they as much interested in addressing the public as ALDE is?

    Maybe ALDE is just more aggressive, more focused, more innovative. But at least it is surprising to encounter them on every corner of the EU-net.

  10. Dear Jon,
    You seem to be assuming that these banners are a) expensive, b) beyond the budget that is allocated to the ALDE group, and c) that people in Brussels only work for the EU. The vast majority of people in Brussels do not in fact work for the EU and do not in fact know much about the “Brussels village”. They too deserve to receive communication and information about the EU. In fact, you might be surprised to find out how little is known about the EU, just at its very doorstep! There is a legitimate question as to what language one should use to communicate with them when very limited space is available in a banner. But that is a different debate (incidentally I hear that the Belgian (Brussels) liberals have proposed that English should be made an official language here). What IS beyond the budget of the ALDE Group in the Committee of the Regions is to communicate with citizens in 27 Member States. With a little imagination, and wanting to ensure that people in Brussels are not be forgotten when the EU communicates, you can make a small budget go a long way.
    Kind regards.

  11. But I know the Commission has cash for stuff like that… But the third largest group in the European Parliament?!

  12. Dear Jon! Your shock comes from a lack of understanding of EU communications 😉 Don’t tell me you’ve never seen those giant posters on the Berlaymont, for example, celebrating the EU’s newest ‘achievements’. The principle is: ‘We communicate to ourselves how great we are.’ Who the f*@k cares about people outside Brussels? Do they have any influence on what’s happening here…?

  13. When the liberals have a candidate for the Commission Presidency, I look forward to their advertisements.

  14. In fact, I have also been wondering about their online presence for quite some time, because they are in fact the only political group that seems to advertise their campaigns and activities on all relevant EU-sites, including the EUobserver e-mail newsletter.

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