More than 80,000 people follow Herman Van Rompuy on Twitter. This has become an indispensable tool for Brussels correspondents, who check his feed regularly, less to better know the mind of the man fronting the Council of the European Union; more for official statements on the facts emerging from the Council.
Everyone can throw their 140 words into the debate by using any of the official hashtags (#EUCO, #EUbudget, #MFF), providing reporters with a fount of information and opinion. But it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, the truth from the noise. Rumour spreads like wildfire.
Therefore a short, verified sentence coming from the office of the Council president, or the European Commission – Jose Manuel Barroso is partial to the occasional Tweet – is golden.
A number of Brussels correspondents tell the European Council video service why ‘following’ the presidents is not for twits.
As you can see from this analysis of #MFF trends, tweets by Herman Van Rompuy (euhvr) yielded the fifth highest number of impressions, with 169,526, of anyone using that tag. And this was despite only making a handful of tweets. Incidentally EurActiv got itself into third on the league table, admittedly with considerably more activity. Click to enlarge.