Berlaymonster learns from sources inside DG DIGIT, the commission's IT department, that some EU civil servants are spending up to five hours a day on "social" networking website, Facebook.
"It's a serious issue," says our whistleblower. "Staff are poking each other when you'd expect them to be drinking coffee."
Facebook allows users to communicate, rather like the telephone, only without any sounds. You can also join "groups" and send "messages".
One such group is called "I heart EU Commission spokespersons". One adherent of the group fwubs:
"It's in Michael Mann's occasional irreverent courtside glance and Oliver Drewes's slightly queer half-German, half-Irish accent, and Stefaan de Rynck's floppy, foppish public school boy hair. Or perhaps, it's in Emma Udwin's stern yet powerfully seductive enunciations. Whatever it is, we're captivated, they're dreamy, and there's nothing we want more than for them to whisper sweet nothings about farm subsidies and a unified european sky to our eagerly awaiting ears."
In an effort to demonstrate solidarity with the plight of hundreds of parliamentary assistants, Commission stagiares and other poorly-paid interns across the Schuman square mile, one Facebook group has garnered literally tens of people in membership.
This group hopes to raise the profile of the brutal abuse of young EU employees. Those not left permanently disabled by the green flashes of the photocopier are forced to endure interminable think-tank panel discussions, taking notes that will never see the light of day.
Survivors - rehabilitated with a regular salary and compensated through a range of so-called ‘perks’- are often unable to retrieve their memories this period. Activists say this is a direct result of hangovers they experienced during their internment ('internship' shurely? ed).
The broad demographic of the group membership demonstrates the depth of support: the age span of the white, middle class, tertiary educated membership spans from precocious teenagers all the way to mid-twenties professionals.
A recent post on the group page suggested that a public demonstration or march might do more to highlight the issue, though one ‘officer’ noted that ‘we’ll probably just meet in Place Luxembourg as usual’.
The commission group "Place Lux Regulars" counts 1,114 members at the time of going to press.