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Figure 1 – Total tweets per EU leader January 2019 to June 2020

Figure 1 – Total tweets per EU leader January 2019 to June 2020

Total tweets per EU leader January 2019 to June 2020

Figure 1 shows that the most active leader on Twitter is Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, with an average of 562 tweets a month. This is twice the monthly number issued by the second most active leader, Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, with 234 tweets per month on average; more than four times more than Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, with an average of 122; and an even greater difference with other EU leaders. This indicates that most EU leaders still use Twitter relatively sparingly, compared to other international figures. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for instance, tweeted a monthly average of 408 tweets, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s personal profile totals on average 308 tweets per month. The most active Twitter user amongst political leaders worldwide, is, by far, United States President Donald Trump, who tweeted on an average 762 times per month in the period under consideration. Consequently, when looking at the 50 most active world leaders on Twitter only one (Janez Janša) of 34 EU leaders makes it into the top 10, while Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, ranks 19th. One conclusion is that, although Twitter has gradually found a role in EU leaders’ communication strategies, the use of tweets in the EU sphere has so far been less extensive compared to other political leaders at international level. Interestingly, another (non-EU) European leader, who appears to be on average less active on Twitter than his European counterparts is United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with an average of 31 tweets per month.
Surprisingly, if the differences in age are taken into consideration when comparing the Twitter activity of EU Heads of State or Governments, it appears that it is not necessarily the younger EU leaders who are more active on Twitter. The top five tweeters are in four different age groups: with Mateusz Morawiecki being over 50 years old, Andrej Plenković and Pedro Sánchez between 40 and 50 years old, Janez Janša over 60 and Sebastian Kurz in his 30s. The same is also true for the less-enthusiastic Twitter users, who are not always from an older generation, but also include younger EU leaders, notably Marjan Šarec (age 42) and Joseph Muscat (age 46).

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