Spending time backstage with Europe’s digital creators

We’re huge fans of the amazing creative Europeans who make a living entertaining, educating and informing people around the world via YouTube.  So we were delighted to be asked by EU40, a group of 106 members of the European Parliament aged 40 or less, to help them celebrate creativity across Europe at an event in Brussels last night.  

MEP Victor Negrescu, board member of EU40, invited Matt Brittin, President of Google Europe to speak at the European Parliament -- and asked him to gather together YouTube stars from across Europe who are creating businesses, driving social change and telling the world about what's happening in Europe's vibrant cultural scene.
YouTube creators from across the continent gathered at the European Parliament

At the event, attended by citizen journalist Eliot Higgins, YouTube make-up guru Tricia Cusden and Spanish teacher David Calle, Matt announced that there are now more than 3 million YouTube partners across the European Union, all of them making money on YouTube. And there are hundreds of channels across the continent earning six-figure sums annually.

Our partners are using YouTube in all kinds of different ways. For some of them, it’s a vehicle to build a business. Take Patry Jordan from Spain. Patry is a beauty expert, image consultant and personal trainer with a legion of followers on YouTube. Her channel, 'Girls’ Secrets,' has turned her into a household name: she's become a L'Oreal beauty ambassador and has recently published her own book.  

YouTube is also a platform for social change, creating new sources of information and news for citizens. Tilo Jung uses his channel Jung+Naiv (meaning young and naive -- see what he did there?) to cover German politics in a way which is entertaining, engaging and relevant especially for young voters. His irreverent videos show him being a rare millennial voice in the government’s press conferences.

If European history and culture are your thing, you can find that on YouTube has too. Centuries-old European institutions like the Berlin Philharmonic, Madrid’s Prado Museum and the Vienna Film Festival are all finding new, vibrant audiences online. Tobias Moller from the Berlin Philharmonic told us all about how YouTube helps one of the most classic names in classical music broaden its online repertoire.

Food is a huge part of European culture, and a major global export too, so we roped in ‘French Guy Cooking, part of Jamie Oliver’s Food Network, to whip up some snacks together with Jamila Cuisine from Romania. Delicieux!

We’re glad to say that these YouTube stars proved inspirational for MEP Victor Negrescu and his colleagues: “People involved in politics can learn from these digital creators and think of new ways of using the internet to engage with citizens in an open and transparent way, for instance by using video. When I see the amazingly successful European creators we have here today, I realise that we can do so much more. And I want to make sure we can prepare a European environment where digital creativity can truly flourish.”

We couldn’t agree more.  And thanks for the invitation, EU40!

Posted by: Tobias Mckenney, Public Policy Manager