On October 26, Emmanuel Macron became only the second French president to visit Slovakia. His trip comprised of meetings with his Slovak counterpart Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, a press conference and brief walk around Bratislava. Mr Macron’s day in the Slovak capital concluded with the GLOBSEC-organised “Shaping the Future of Europe,” the latest in a series of public discussions the French president holds with citizens in fellow EU states.
Media interest in the GLOBSEC component of Emmanuel Macron’s working visit has been encouraging. In this brief, we outline how press and TV summarised the French president’s talking points and highlight social media activities related to our event.
Coverage of the trip was, understandably, dominated by European media outlets. The Irish Times, for example, emphasised that GLOBSEC’s discussion formed part of a “citizens’ consultation on Europe” initiated by President Macron. France’s Le Figaro elaborated that Bratislava was the stage for the sixth consultation of this type, with defence, the environment and immigration among the key talking points. To this end, we are delighted that our event is the only one of its type to take place in Central Europe.
Press coverage closer to home came from the likes of Poland’s Do Rzeczy, which picked up on the French president’s comments that ‘’Europe is not a supermarket’’ in which countries can choose what suits them while rejecting other obligations. Elsewhere, Polskie Radio led with Mr Macron’s appeal not to leave space for ‘’enemies of Europe.’’ EuroZpravy kicked off its reportage by highlighting that the President’s visit to the region was about more than commemorating the 100th anniversary of the formation of Czechoslovakia.
Some of Slovakia’s newspapers added a more personal touch to their articles and features. Novy Cas, for example, featured Mr Macron’s walk through Bratislava to the Primatial Palace, the venue for ‘’Shaping the Future of Europe.’’ The City of Bratislava also highlighted that in the build up to our event, the French president signed the city’s Gold Book at the town hall.
Other Slovak publications were more formal in terms of their output, with Hospodarske Noviny offering a minute-by-minute account of proceedings. Coverage for Slovakia’s Hungarian-speaking population was led by Ujszo, which highlighted Mr Macron’s positive take on European values. This includes the French president’s conviction that instruments as diverse as Erasmus are also part of Europe’s ‘personal story’.
Other Slovak publications were more formal in terms of their output, with Hospodarske Noviny offering ‘as live’ reporting of proceedings. Coverage for Slovakia’s Hungarian-speaking population was led by Ujszo, which highlighted Mr Macron’s positive take on European values. This includes the French president’s conviction that instruments as diverse as Erasmus are also part of Europe’s ‘personal story’.
Slovak television’s coverage of Mr Macron’s visit was comprehensive, covering everything from the French president’s arrival to his departure for Prague. GLOBSEC is particularly grateful to TA3 for its coverage of “Shaping the Future of Europe,” which was featured prominently in its evening news programme.
Over on Social Media
The French president’s involvement in ‘’Shaping the Future of Europe’’ was also well-received by GLOBSEC’s social media followers, with almost 8,000 views of our Facebook livestream. Our coverage was also shared by pages belonging to Prime Minister Pellegrini, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the European Parliament in Slovakia and other organisations. The 20 live Tweets that we generated during the event had a reach of between 22,000 – 32,000 users, while our livestream reached 24,000 accounts.