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Social-mediatisation of politics - London

Some politicians have more followers on Twitter than the number of votes received- how does this change the way we see and do politics?

Social media and the changing trends of news consumption are remaking politics. Politicians have new tools to engage with their voters, but these tools are turning one-way communication through traditional channels into a two-way street, giving voters and campaigners easily accessible channels to interact with and influence politicians. How does this change traditional political career-paths and the level of control political parties have over their members?

How can parties adapt to this change, both vis-à-vis their members and their voters? But it's not only traditional political parties that must rethink their communication, but also public institutions. Is there a democratic obligation for public institutions to be on social media? If yes, how does that change policy making and traditional boundaries between transparency and confidentiality?

The third event in our London Think-tank Summit (#LondonThink) series brings together think-tankers with politicians, (social) media influencers and diplomats to discuss public communication.

Date 29 April 2013
Time 09.00-12.30
Venue European Parliament Information Office (32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU)
Hosted by European Parliament Information Office in the UK in partnership with Electionista



Opening remarks by Jamie Bartlett, Demos

How is social media changing political parties and empowering protest movements? - with special regard to the 2013 Italian elections


PANEL I moderated by Adam Boulton*

New politics based on candidate network vs old politics of party controlled network?

Is the visibility offered by social media creating new career paths for politicians outside party structures? How does this affect their willingness to follow party lines? Are the policy positions, influence campaigning and even some rebellions among party backbenchers related to this shift? What are the vulnerabilities inherent in this dynamic? What new opportunities does this create for campaigners/think-tanks to influence political decision making?

David Aaronovitch, columnist, broadcaster
Stella Creasy MP
Brie Rogers Lowery,
Mark Pack, Author, 101 Ways to Win an Election


PANEL II moderated by Simon Hix**

How social media empowers public organisations to better engage with the public.

Parliaments and governments all over the world are using social media to interact with the public and the media publicly. But what are the limits (and opportunities) between public engagement and politics? Who is doing it right, and could more be done? Should civil servants be allowed to tweet at all? Should policy discussions be more transparent and involve the public at an early stage? How does that influence the role of elected politicians? All institutions have communication challenges in this age, more so the European Union institutions which face varying public sentiment (including emotional support but also prejudice) and social media provides an opportunity to directly engage with the public and tackle prejudices.

Charles  Tannock, MEP
Jaume Duch Spokesman & Director for Media, European Parliament
Alberto Nardelli, CEO of Tweetminster / Electionista
Tom Mludzinski IPSOS UK
Alison Daniels Head of Digital, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (tbc)
Tony Agotha Spokesman, Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the EU

*Political Editor, Sky News
**Head of Department of Government, London School of Economics (LSE)