Finnegan's Take

Barroso’s buzzwords

Market, Economy and Crisis dominate Commission President’s list of most-used words.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso unveiled his ‘summer homework‘ today, setting out his agenda in a bid to convince a sceptical European Parliament that he has a vision for a second term.

So what were his priorities? Well, taking an outrageously crude quantative approach, I’ve counted (with the help of a computer) which words he used most frequently to get a picture of his buzzwords for the next five years.

When you remove words like ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘in’ and ‘will’, you are left with an intriguing bunch of nouns and adjectives. European and Commission top the list, followed by New. Then we get 73 uses of Market/Markets, 45 appearances of ‘Social’, and 38 occurences of ‘World’.

Economic/Economy/Economies total 73 if taken together, with People and Citizens getting 36 and 32 respectively.

Then it’s Climate with 30; Financial and Development with 27 each; Parliament turning up 23 times; with Values, Sustainable and Regulation getting 21 mentions apiece.

The Lisbon Strategy is name-checked three times, Innovation clocks up 17 mentions with 4 more for Innovative.

SMEs are worthy of 5 appearances, with Entrepreneurs/Entrepreneurial cropping up just three times.

Borrowing from Barack Obama, Change and Changes get 49 in total, and a measley 2 for Hope.

Top Ten:

  • New: 76
  • Market/Markets: 73
  • Economic/Economy/Economies: 73
  • People/Citizens: 68
  • Change/Changes: 49
  • Social: 45
  • World: 38
  • Crisis: 35
  • Rights: 33
  • Climate: 30

So what does it all mean? Well, for starters you can tell that economic matters are top of the agenda, but there’s also a great deal of attention being paid to engaging the public.

For those who suggested that Barroso’s audience should have been the green and left-leaning MEPs who have been most sceptical about his reappointment, there may be some surprise that markets received greater attention than words related to social/society and climate/sustainability.

Also note-worthy is the emphasis on new – stressing Barroso’s intention of responsing to those who might argue that his ideas are stale or old.

Your thoughts?

[See EurActiv’s coverage here]

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