The announcement comes at a time when the digital communications landscape is undergoing significant upheavals, with questions arising about the sustainability of X (aka Twitter), the growing prominence of artificial intelligence (AI), looming elections, and the surge in disinformation campaigns.
The ZN #EUinfluencer ranking, now in its seventh edition, honours Brussels-based EU influencers who have made substantial impacts on social media platforms. Dave Keating, correspondent at France 24, topped this year’s list. Recognized for his influential online presence and engagement with MEPs, Keating’s significant contributions to the EU’s digital political and economic discourse set him apart. Notably, Keating boasts a following of 53,000. Despite the news of him taking a step back from X, he also clinched the top spot in the “Economy and Trade” category.
The runner-up spot was claimed by Jean Quatremer of Libération, followed by Jon Worth, an EU transport commentator. Other influential figures in the top ten include Theresa Fallon from the Centre for Russia, Europe, Asia Studies (CREAS) and Katie Owens at the European Commission’s DG SANTE. Ariel Brunner from Birdlife Europe and Central Asia, made a massive leap, climbing 45 spots from the previous year.
The state of flux surrounding X, the platform previously known as Twitter, has raised eyebrows about its ongoing viability. It is the most popular social media channel among the EU circle, and its uncertain future may signal a shift in how politicians, journalists, and associations communicate and influence. Philip Weiss, CEO at ZN, highlighted the current challenges, suggesting that the rankings could look significantly different by 2024. Echoing this sentiment, Keating commented on the need for diversifying media channels to effectively reach fragmented audiences.
A panel discussion further delved into these subjects, with participants such as Maria Linkova-Nijs, Communications Director at Cefic; Sevim Aktas, Policy Officer at the European Commission; and top influencers like Keating, Andrew Stroehlein, and Fallon.
Below is the full EU Influencers list announced by ZN.