Based on an analysis of more than 1.2 million tweets in English, French and German, this report finds mixed sentiment toward the European Union and a general lack of passion about the candidates seeking the European Commission presidency.
A new Pew Research Center analysis of the conversation on Twitter leading up to the European Parliament elections suggests mixed sentiment toward the European Union (EU) and a general lack of passion about the candidates seeking the European Commission presidency.
In the analysis of more than 1.2 million tweets in English, French and German collected between May 1-14, a decidedly mixed view about the EU emerged. In English, 31% of the assertions on Twitter about the EU were positive toward the EU (which included the EU directly, its institutions and Europe), compared with 39% that were negative and 30% that were neutral. The Twitter conversation in French broke down the same basic way—33% positive, 39% negative and 28% neutral. And while the German language conversation about the EU on Twitter was much more positive (39%) than negative (5%), these views were embedded in a low intensity conversation that represented a mere fraction of the Twitter activity in French and English.
The positive view toward the EU was reflected in a tweet from Finnish minister Alexander Stubb who wrote: “We need the EU for four simple reasons: peace, prosperity, security and stability. We can do more together, than alone.” The opposite view was voiced in a tweet from @MetManPH noting that, “It’s not racist to believe that membership of the EU is not in Britain’s best interests.”
Other elements of the Twitter discussion in the run-up to the May 22-25 balloting for a 751-seat pan-European Parliament reinforce the notion that the 28-nation organization does not provoke particularly strong interest or approval in this corner of the social networking world.