Reuniting Europe

The EU as a Facebook Group

I am one of those who wish the EU would reform. I suggest Herman Van Rompuy opens a Facebook Group called “European Union” and accepts as ‘Members’ the EU heads of state and government only, who would update him automatically when they change their profile, especially after elections.

For those who are not so familiar, Groups are spaces on Facebook where deeper discussions are expected. The more widely known Pages and Profiles tend to elicit shorter comments.

The EU has 27 members and will have 28 when Croatia joins in July. This is a perfect composition for a Facebook Group. As Zuckerbergs’ social media explains, if you’re looking to rouse support for gay rights, then, you’re better off creating a page. But if you’re trying to reunite your high school class, the Groups option is the perfect solution. EU leaders are more school classmates than anything else, I think.

Group Members can post links and messages on the Group Wall, as they can on most community pages, but the big novelty is that they can also share and collaborate on collective documents, such as EU Summit Conclusions.

HvR will act as the Closed Group’s administrator, but he would also post the ideas and policies and make sense of ‘likes’ and comments.

HvR needs to check that all Members have clicked “Notify me if Member posts or comments”, and make sure that David Cameron hasn’t instead clicked on “Never notify me”.

Leaders may join also common-interest user groups, organised by geographical location, like economic situation or other characteristics, and categorise their friends into lists such as “Boring People From Summits” or “We better listen to Merkel”.

If the think happens to work fine, it would be possible to skip most of the summits and replace them with Group Chats.

As Facebook explains, Group chat is probably one of the most significant features of the new Facebook Groups product. All members of a group have the ability to engage in a single chat window. The one downside of this, Facebook warns, is that it group chat rooms can become pretty noisy. But this is not something that can discourage EU leaders.

Another very handy feature is that the EU Facebook group, which is closed by default, is that it features the option for a Secret Group, for any inner circle HvR would build. Groups listed as secret will not show up in a, nor will it even appear on Member profile. For everyone on the outside, then, it’s as if the Group doesn’t exist at all.

As internet gurus explained, this was made so one Member doesn’t need to worry about his grandma stumbling upon his drunken Wall posts. It could also help avoiding markets getting too nervous after later night eurozone discussions.

Last but not least, Facebook Groups are opt-out, not opt-in. What this means is that HvR can add you to the Group, and after that you can stay or leave if you want, if you don’t like the company.

All leaders have to do is click on the ‘Leave Group’ option at the top right-hand corner of the Group page, and their country’name will instantly vanish from the list of EU members. The downside, though, is that he or anybody else won’t be able to rejoin the Group unless you explicitly request membership later on down the road.

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