This awards recognises an MEP who has tweeted the most effective and entertaining tweets and who has used Facebook to inform, amuse and provoke debate amongst their followers.
Andrew Duff – ALDE, UK
In the run up to the 2014 European elections, ALDE deputy Andrew Duff has been one of the most active MEPs on Twitter. His account is personally managed, and, according to those who have nominated him, is a great attribute to interactive communications. The Cambridge graduate has also been recognised as an older user in the young-user dominated field of social media, which is both inspiring and worthy of a mention. The regular Twitter user, who received an OBE in 1997 for services to politics and is currently president of the Union of European Federalists, boasts nearly 7000 followers and is also very active on Facebook too.
Sajjad Karim – ECR, UK
Sajjad Karim has been nominated for his very proactive use of social media for informing the public of the work he and other MEPs are undertaking in the European parliament. In addition, the British MEP is keen to break down the democratic deficit and sees Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more as the best way to disperse information about what goes on in Brussels. He has grown his Twitter followers from 800 to almost 3000 in less than two years; has over 1200 likes on his Facebook fan page, has over 100 videos on his YouTube page, with the ECR deputy engaging regularly with citizens across these networks.
Marietje Schaake – ALDE, Netherlands
Marietje Schaake has been particularly active on social media, where she freely shares information about her work in the European parliament. However, according to those nominating her, she understands that social media is not only about advertising or self-promotion. She often communicates on EU and world affairs in a highly instructive way, aiming to raise awareness of many issues among her followers. She has also proven very responsive on these various platforms and her daily use of social media demonstrates that it is not just an additional campaigning platform during election times: social media can be used as a participatory tool at any time, helping to bridge the gap between voters and politicians.