Loading

Pulse of Europe Can "positive" populism win on social media?

In 2016, Europe saw xenophobic grassroots movements rise, like Pegida in Germany. Could 2017 see pro-european activists reproduce this example to drag positive attention on the European Union ? Starting from Germany again, EU federalists try to organise themselves across Europe with Pulse of Europe.

Narrative

Pulse Of Europe was born in January 2017, initiated by a German couple. Before the crucial upcoming elections (last week in the Netherlands, in April in France and in September in Germany), with high odds of winning for the eurosceptics/europhobics, this couple wanted to show their support to the European Union project.

They started to organize in January a sit-in every Sunday with European flags in Frankfurt. Since then, the movement has been emerging in several other German cities, but also in Paris, in the Netherlands and in Brussels.

Analysis

A growing mobilisation

We collected all the tweets mentioning #PulseOfEurope from 10 February until 12 March.

By analysing these data, we clearly observe that:

  • the mobilisation is growing every sunday, day chosen for the demonstrations;
  • except during the demonstrations’ livetweets every sunday, the daily volume is rather low.

Volume

Daily volume of #PulseOfEurope on Twitter
Hourly volume of #PulseOfEurope between 11/03 and 12/03

Top Tweets

The top 5 retweeted tweets are from :

  • Livetweets of the demonstrations’ pictures
  • Pro-European accounts like @EuropeElects or @EuWatchers trying to link the growing demonstrations to real impact on the polls
  • Media/Journalists using the hashtag to gain some attention on the stories they produce about the movement

Top influencers

Expressions

The wordcloud clearly shows the weight of german speaking people in the conversations.

Fading topics and Trending Topics from 10/02 to 12/03

Our Conversation Map

To read this map, please remember that:

  • Data are extracted from tweets using #PulseOfEurope from 10/02 to 12/03/2017
  • Every node is a twitter account.
  • Labels are shown for the twitter accounts having at least 3 interactions (Tweet or Retweet).
  • Every network can be identified as discussions communities : people engaging with each other.
  • Nodes with no link are people having no interactions (no retweets nor mentions).
From the 10th of February until the 10th of March 2017

What do we see?

  • Unsurprisingly, the official account @PulseOfEurope is clearly central in the discussions
  • Before 10 March, conversations are widely dominated by German-speaking authors.
  • On the left (south-west of the map, in blue, purple and orange), we see conversations involving EU stakeholders such as Green German MEPs (@JanAlbrecht, @Bueti) and think tanks/EU projects (like @Why_europe @JEF or @EuWatchers)
  • On the right (South-East of the map), we can see conversations with German people or organisations close to the Green party (@DanielMack, former Green MP, or @die_gruenen and @gruenen_bundestag).

Our Conversation Map - Conversations during the week-end

To read this map, please remember that:

  • Datas are extracted from tweets using #PulseOfEurope from 10/02 to 12/03/2017
  • Every node is a twitter account.
  • Labels are shown for the twitter accounts having at least 3 interactions (Tweet or Retweet).
  • Every network can be identified as discussions communities : people engaging with each other (mentions or RT).
  • Nodes with no link are people having no interactions (no retweets nor mentions).
Conversations during the week-end of 4-5 March & 11-12 March

What do we see?

To show that the mobilisation is growing, we just put side by side the two maps. The first one is from the 4-5 March demonstration and the second one, a week later.

  • The @PulseOfEurope account is still central in all the discussions
  • There is a growing mobilisation around the dutch account (in pink) and the french one (in purple)
  • The french account @PoEFrance is clearly linked with some EU federalist twitter accounts (JEF accounts, @MarchEurope) in all the discussions
If we focus only on this period, we see how the Brussels demonstration rises in the wordcloud. Nevertheless, German remains the main language, following the numerous demonstrations taking place in German cities, and the publications in German media (Heute Journal, ZDF, Tagesschau) which tweeted about the demonstrations.

Below, you can see :

  • That the tweets from @Why_Europe have expanded into the federalist network between the 5 and 12 march.
  • It also seems that Pulse Of Europe France (@PoEFrance) has strong links with the federalist movement, organising a march in Rome at the end of March.

The mobilisation expands through German-speaking stakeholders

Behind the story of this rising movement, we see that #PulseOfEurope expands consequently to the actions of German-speaking activists.

Pulse of Europe NL and FR

It seems that German speaking activists have helped create awareness around the Pulse of Europe NL account :

  • the first followers gained by the @PulseOfEuropeNL account after its creation are German-speaking students or activists
  • the first Retweets and mentions the account received were from people living in Germany

We also noted that for now, the only political parties represented inside the online dissemination of the hashtag are people who are close to the Green party in Germany (only a few of them are from the Social-Democrats or the Liberals).

Pulse of Europe in Brussels

Inside the Top European commission officials and MEPs, 45% of the tweets published were written in German, showing the weight of the German ecosystem in the mobilisation.
Conclusions

Conclusions

Pulse of Europe is a growing movement. Reaching the media was an important milestone to help them disseminate their message. But can it really weigh on the upcoming national elections?

The movement has been expanding through the actions of German-speaking activists. People close to or belonging to the Green Party already seem very mobilised. Will Pulse Of Europe be absorbed by traditional political parties?

What will the role of EU Federalist activists be? On our maps, they seem to be somehow isolated from the core discussions. Will Pulse Of Europe be the movement bringing these ideas forward ?

Created By
Mégane Fastrez
Appreciate

Credits:

Created with images by pixel2013 - "flag europe eu" • moritz320 - "star euro euro star" • Joshua Fuller - "untitled image" • Valeria Fernandez Astaburuaga - "European union"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.