A report in the EU Observer says that an EU office in the virtual world would be part of the European Commission’s effort to get closer to EU citizens and communicate better with them.
[…] “We’re looking at communicating through untraditional channels such as the internet and it is a very serious consideration in the reflection of our future internet strategy,” [Commission spokesman Mikolaj Dowgielewicz] pointed out. “Second Life is just one of them but an interesting one,” he said. “We’re open to new ideas.
No details have been suggested on how the commission could involve itself in Second Life but Mr Dowgielewicz said it was more likely to be a project of the commission’s communication department rather than of the entire EU executive.
The European Commission is responsible for the 27-member union’s EU embassies around the world.
Sebastian Kurpas from European think tank CEPS told EUobserver that it is necessary for any governmental body to look into alternative ways of transmitting its message. He explained that the commission has lately changed its communication strategy from communication through mainly mainstream channels such as print media and television to a more diversified approach including the internet.
Mr Kurpas said the commission could “reach a different public that may not normally be interested” in its work.
The communication department is headed by Margot Wallstrom, a commissioner who is no stranger to embracing new communication ideas – she started a blog in the early adopter days for European political blogs, back in January 2005.
The announcement comes after the latest data from Linden Lab, Second Life’s developer, published in early February which shows that citizens of the top three European Union member countries who are SL residents – that’s France, Germany and the UK – collectively make up 31.28% of Second Life’s membership, exceeding the 31.19% of the US, the single biggest country for membership.
Overall, citizens of EU states make up just over 51% of the 4.275 million members of Second Life.