Welcome to my personal blog – it’s here that I outline my views on EU politics, UK politics, German politics, the intersection of tech and politics, travel, and plenty of other topics. I’ve been blogging since Summer 2005, making this one of the longest running blogs about EU affairs. I’m also one of the founders of Bloggingportal.eu, an EU affairs blogging aggregator. I am also one of the most active users of Twitter to debate EU politics – follow @jonworth.
Aside from blogging I am a partner in techPolitics LLP, a small UK-registered agency dedicated to social media strategy and training for politics and government. I am also self employed in Germany. In the past I’ve been responsible for sites such as the Atheist Bus Campaign and the website for Harriet Harman’s campaign to become Labour Party Deputy Leader.
I spent 16 years in the Labour Party in the UK before leaving in 2013 to join the Grüne in Germany.
I also teach people how the European Union functions – practical courses for individuals in the public sector that are going to have to work with the EU institutions in a professional capacity.
I work from Berlin but travel all over Europe, notably to Brussels, London, Geneva and Copenhagen regularly.
I’ve previously worked as a civil servant in London, and as an assistant in the European Parliament in Brussels. I speak French and German well, and Danish, Swedish and Italian badly, as well as my native English.
A full archive of all the articles I have published elsewhere and are available online can be found here. This includes columns written for LabourList (42 pieces), Guardian Comment is Free, Left Foot Forward, Progress, LSE EUROPP, Social Europe Journal, WEF Forum Blog, Policy Network, IPPR, techPresident and openDemocracy, and – on a different topic – for Union in Englisch.
Videos of speeches and presentations
I am regularly invited to makes speeches and presentations at events and training courses across Europe. From the start of 2014 onwards all of these will be streamed, and will be listed here, together with some videos of previous presentations and keynotes.
Quotes and Media Appearances
Berliner Zeitung – “Die letzte Fahrt von Berlin nach Breslau“, 14.9.2014
German original: Was für ein Abschied! Wie ein letzter Fußtritt für die Unentwegten, die diesem Zug treu geblieben sind, sagt Jon Worth, der im ersten Wagen fröstelt, weil die Heizung nicht funktioniert. „Dieser Abschied ist nicht leise, er ist wie ein Türenknallen.“ Der Brite war bei der letzten Fahrt des Eurocity von Hamburg über Berlin nach Wrocław (Breslau) dabei.
English translation: What a farewell! As a final kick for the die-hards who have remained faithful to this train says Jon Worth, who shivers in the first car because the heating does not work. “This goodbye is not quiet, it is like a door slamming*.” The Briton was on the last ride of the EuroCity from Hamburg to Berlin to Wroclaw (Breslau).
* – the phrase I used in English was “It’s not going out with a bang, but a whimper.” Something got mixed up with the translation here!
Associated Press “Last call for sleeper trains linking Berlin, Paris“, 12.12.2014 (also translated, more negatively, into Dutch in Trouw here)
Worth believes rail firms are wilfully neglecting their sleeper services, to the detriment of travelers. “There is a demand and it would increase if night trains were managed and marketed properly by the rail companies,” he said. “It’s not all about competition from airlines as they would have us believe.”
FT Brussels Blog – “Malmström vs Selmayr: the tale of the track changes“, 30.9.2014
But almost immediately, Malmström disowned the document. In a tweet that has since been deleted – but captured by prominent EU blogger Jon Worth on his site here – Malmström wrote that “the sentence everybody is so excited about on ISDS…is not written by me.”
The Guardian – “End of the line for Europe’s iconic night trains?“, 12.9.2014
“There’s no basis to the argument that sleeper trains are outmoded per se,” said blogger Jon Worth, who has launched a petition to save the Copenhagen night train. Britain has announced upgrades to its Caledonian and London-Penzance sleeper services, while China and Russia have invested in new night-train carriages, he pointed out.
“Railways are still the most environmentally sustainable and comfortable way of getting around Europe. You cannot expect people to spend a day on a train – you can expect them to spend a night.”
Deutsche Welle – “Social media heats up Scottish referendum“, 12.9.2014
“This is some of the highest level of social media activity we have ever seen in British politics,” EU expert Jon Worth told DW. “It means that geographic distance is less of a problem than it was in previous political campaigns,” he added.
One thing has definitely become clear, said Worth: “It will be much more about strengthening each sides [sic] network. Running a modern campaign is now unthinkable without using these tools.”
Quartz – “The Indian prime minister’s office just threw away 1.24 million Twitter followers“, 20.5.2014
Jon Worth, an EU affairs blogger, has a fascinating post titled “Who owns a Commissioner’s Twitter account, and its followers?“, a question that will become all the more pertinent after the European Parliament elections this week. He also notes an attempt by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, to claim followers on his official account as his own before backtracking.
Hyperland ZDF Blog “Social Media als gefährliche Trumpfkarte der Eurogegner“, 10.5.2014
English translation: According to Worth even the benefit of such mishaps outweigh the costs for UKIP: “So many hateful remarks are also consistent: UKIP supporters share these opinions often. Thus the party only has to get rid of the really unpleasant publicity, in order to then carry on as before.”
Original German: Laut Worth überwiegt sogar der Nutzen solcher Entgleisungen die Kosten für UKIP: “So abscheulich manche Äußerungen auch sind: UKIP-Anhänger teilen diese Meinungen oft. So muss die Partei lediglich die wirklich Enthemmten öffentlichkeitswirksam loswerden, um dann weitermachen zu können wie bisher.”
Wortwechsel – Deutschlandradio Kultur Europawahl – „Haben die Parteien keine zündenden Ideen?“, 2.5.2014 (guest on the radio show, in German)
MP3 to download (from the Deutschlandradio website)
Publixphere / FU Berlin – panellist at Europäischer Salon “Vor der Wahl zum Europäischen Parlament: Europa der Bürger – Europa der Eliten?”, 30.4.2014 – audio:
Cicero – Magazin für politische Kultur „Die EU ist ein Elitenprojekt“, 28.4.2014 (magazine interview in German)
English translation: Not ever criticism of the politics of the EU should be seen as a critique of all the institutions, says EU-Blogger Jon Worth. In the interview he talks about the democratic deficit and the annoying reduction of the debate to pro-Europeans against eurosceptics
Original German: Nicht jede Kritik an der Politik der EU darf als Kritik an der gesamten Institution verstanden werden, sagt der EU-Blogger Jon Worth. Im Interview spricht er über das Demokratiedefizit und die nervige Verkürzung der Debatte auf Pro-Europäer gegen Euroskeptiker
Nonprofit Quarterly – “Sculptural Critique Goes Viral and Gets New Name” – 8.4.2014
What’s interesting to many is how the addition of the new, popularly generated title has given Follow the Leaders new currency three years after it was in place. Blogger Jon Worth writes, “The interesting conclusion here is that the picture, with the title ‘Politicians discussing global warming’ as tweeted above, is immensely more powerful than entitled ‘electoral campaign,’ and that is the reason for its reach now as far as I can tell.”
Independent – “Some may hunker after Jean-Claude Juncker for European Commission president, but don’t make a joke of it” – 10.3.2014
Jon Worth, a political blogger, posted a mocked-up picture of Juncker on Twitter showing a mournful, bespectacled human face imposed on the body of a poodle held on a lead by Angela Merkel. He also started a parody Twitter account, @JC_Juncker, which collected 300 followers in two days, until somebody blocked it.
techPresident – “After Snowden Leaks, Is a Promise Enough to Protect Digital Rights in Europe?” – 21.2.2014
Worth, who signed the pledge, points out that in several European countries, the voting system allows the voter to pick only the party, not the candidate. He points out, “If we were to look at this from the point of view of a party or an individual candidate on such a closed list, why would I actually want to sign?”
Jung & Naiv – Folge 80: Britische Überwachung (in German), 26.08.2013
IHT Rendezvous “Chancellor Merkel Discovers the Internet“, 20.06.2013
Jon Worth, a British blogger on politics and the Internet, wrote, “Merkel’s line…frames the internet as something external to us. Sorry Merkel, but it is us.”
He said her aides should have anticipated the online furor. “What she has failed to understand is that the Internet changes us deeply and profoundly as citizens, and that applies to the millions of us that use the Internet to do everything in our lives.”
Jung & Naiv – Folge 35: Die Briten und Europa (in German), 10.4.2013
Jung & Naiv – Episode 35: Great Britain & the EU, 10.4.2013
DR interview, 9.1.2013 – radio interview on P3 news, and online story “Danske politikere dumper på Twitter”
40 under 40 programme Interview, 11.12.2011
BBC World Service Radio, World Have Your Say, 18.4.2011 – interview about the impact on the EU of the True Finns election success (radio, no longer available online)
ChangeMakers Brussels – a profile in an eBook about people changing Brussels (p. 6-7)
Friends of the Earth Europe Network News, 10.2010, “How to be a modern NGO in the new Social Media World” (online only, PDF)
euekspres, 17.03.2010, “Intervju z Jonom Worthom, blogerjem in političnim aktivistom iz Velike Britanije” (online and in print, no longer online) – original in Slovenian
English translation: With insightful and interesting writing in his ‘euroblog’ (www.jonworth.eu) Jon has stepped on many people’s toes, but no one disputes that he writes good content and has an ability to communicate effectively. The founder of an effective civic EU blog aggregator, we talked about why the online communication is so important to create the image of the individual and the good and bad sides of the European Commission in communicating with various publics.
Original Slovene: S pronicljivim in zelo zavzetim pisanjem na svojem »euroblogu« (www.jonworth.eu) je Jon stopil na žulj že marsikomu, vendar pa mu nihče ne oporeka dobre vsebinske podkovanosti in sposobnosti učinkovitega komuniciranja. S pionirjem učinkovitega državljanskega EU blogerstva smo se pogovarjali o tem, zakaj je spletno komuniciranje tako pomembno za oblikovanje javne podobe posameznika ter o dobrih in slabih straneh Evropske komisije pri komuniciranju z najrazličnejšimi javnostmi.
Margot Wallström’s blog, 15.12.2009, mention in the Commissioner’s farewell blog post (online only, but no longer online)
However, it is the development of civil society blogs that has been of most interest to me. Individual bloggers such as Jon Worth, Clive Matthews (aka Nosemonkey), Julien Frisch and Ralf Grahn to mention a handful have contributed to creating a small but growing EU blogosphere. […] These blogs are thoughtful and do not slavishly follow either a pro or anti EU line, a fact which I find very valuable.
European Voice, 10.12.2009, interview/article for the careers page “Switched on to the power of the internet” (printed and online)
techPresident, 02.12.2009, interview “Can pan-European politics thrive online?” (online only)
VG, 06.09.2009, “EØS i åpent farvann” (printed only) – Norwegian daily newspaper, quotes about Norway-EU relations
English translation: INVISIBLE EEA: At the bar Fat Boys on Place Luxembourg sits Jon Worth, who for years has worked for the British delegation to the EU. Now he has started his own company and established one of the most widely read EU blogs in Brussels.
“With the exception of the Scandinavian friends, I have never heard anyone in Brussels talk about the EEA Agreement. The EU is not particularly concerned about this, and people do not care. Why should they?” says Worth.
“Most people in Brussels have agreed that the EU has a poor fisheries policy. Therefore if Norway and Iceland joined the EU together something could be done about it” says Worth.
STOOD OUTSIDE: EU analyst and blogger Jon Worth meets regularly on Place Luxembourg in Brussels to drink beer and discuss the EU policy. He sees little reason for Norway’s choice to remain outside the EU.
(please note: I have never actually worked for the British delegation to the EU (UKRep) nor do I spend much time on Place Luxembourg!)
Original Norwegian: USYNLIGE EØS: På baren Fat Boys på Place Luxembourg sitter Jon Worth, som i flere år har jobbet for den britiske EU- delegasjonen. Nå har han startet sitt eget firma og etablert en av de mest leste EU-bloggene i Brussel.
– Med unntak av skandinaviske venner, har jeg aldri hørt noen i Brussel snakke om EØS-avtalen. EU er ikke spesielt opptatt av dette, og folk bryr seg ikke. Hvorfor skulle de det, sier Worth.
– De fleste i Brussel er enige om at EU har en elendig fiskeri- politikk. Derfor hadde man trengt Norge og Island sammen i EU for å kunne gjøre noe med det, sier Worth.
UFORSTÅENDE: EU-analytiker og blogger Jon Worth trekker jevnlig til Place Luxembourg i Brussel for å drikke pils og diskutere EU- politikk. Han forstår lite av Norges valg om å stå utenfor EU.
Gallo Blog, 03.07.2009, “Daddy, I never want to work for someone like you” (online only)
To underscore this point, yesterday’s workshop had Jon Worth talk about his campaign AtheistBus.org.uk. In the time it takes for a company director to book a ’social media expert’ to come and speak to her/his Board, and for the board to agree, “Yes, this is important, let’s set up a task force”, someone like Jon has run an online/off-line campaign and is on to the next project. I exaggerate for effect, but not by much.
Göteborgs Posten, 05.06.2009, “Svenskarna synsi parlamentet” (printed only) – Main Gothenburg newspaper, quotes about performance of Swedish MEPs in the European Parliament
English translation: “But somehow it’s natural. The eurosceptic MEPs do not show up much for their voters. If you already think that the EU is a conspiracy, do you care then about what your MEPs are actually doing in the European Parliament?” said Jon Worth
Original Swedish: – Men på något sätt är det kanske naturligt. De EU-skeptiska parlamentarikerna behöver inte visa upp sig särskilt mycket för sina väljare. Om du redan tänker att EU är en konspiration, bryr du dig då om vad din EU-parlamentariker egentligen gör i EU-parlamentet? säger Jon Worth
BBC Radio 5 Live, 02.06.2009, Interview on Victoria Derbyshire morning show (radio, audio no longer available on iPlayer)
12 minutes debating MEPs’ expenses and pensions against Mats Persson of Open Europe.
NRC Handelsblad, 11.02.2009, “Spel van start: zoek voorzitter EU-Commissie” (online and print)
English translation: “It is wrong that the Commission President is chosen behind the scenes,” says Worth
Original Dutch: „Het is verkeerd dat de Commissievoorzitter achter de schermen wordt uitgekozen,” zegt Worth
Atheist Bus Campaign
Spiegel, 08.01.2009, “Busfahrt mit gottloser Botschaft“, interview and article (online only)
English translation: But by chance in Brussels Jon Worth read the column. The web designer and political consultants is someone whose brain never seems to rest. He is committed to all sorts of concerns. Because he is against a further term of EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, he launched the site www.anyonebutbarroso.eu. Similarly, the passionate cricket fan ran a website to get the British national sport accepted at the Olympics. And he’s also an atheist, so on that summer day he wrote an email to Ariane and offered his services as a campaign manager
Original German: Doch in Brüssel liest zufällig Jon Worth die Kolumne. Der Web-Designer und Politikberater ist einer, dessen Gehirn nie zu ruhen scheint. Er engagiert sich für alle möglichen Anliegen. Weil er gegen eine weitere Amtszeit von EU-Kommissionspräsident José Manuel Barroso ist, startete er die Seite www.anyonebutbarroso.eu (“Jeder, nur nicht Barroso”). Ebenso leidenschaftlich wirbt der Cricket-Fan mit einer eigenen Website für die Zulassung des britischen Nationalsports bei den Olympischen Spielen. Und Atheist ist er auch, also schreibt er an jenem Sommertag eine Mail an Ariane und bietet seine Dienste als Kampagnenmanager an
Deutschlandfunk, 9.1.2009, Radio interview in German
RTL Nachtjournal, 8.1.2009 (starts 11 minutes in) Television interview in German
Cicero Interview, 11.1.2009 “Man muss nicht an Gott glauben, um ein ethischer Mensch zu sein”
Television interview in French for TF1 Journal de 13h can be found here