Rat Catcher TV

Sally McNamara /

Like all international bodies, the European Union is concerned about public diplomacy. So in order to communicate its message more effectively, the European Parliament launched its own internet-based TV Channel this September – “Europarl-TV”.

At a cost of €40 million (c. $50 million) over four years, the Parliament’s Vice-President for Information and Communication Policy predicted it would garner an audience of 20-40 million viewers for important debates. Sadly, Bruno Waterfield from the Telegraph has burst the EU’s bubble by revealing that Europarl-TV attracts less than 1,200 viewers per day.

A quick perusal of Europarl-TV may reveal why: one of its leading segments on its “young Europe” section is a stunningly boring interview with the European Parliament’s rat catcher. At a time of economic crisis and rising unemployment across Europe, the EU aptly demonstrates its irrelevancy once again. Perhaps Europarl-TV would do better to explain why MEP’s are considering spending up to €9.2 million (c. $11.7 million) on a new fitness centre in the European Parliament instead of interviewing the local rodent exterminator.