The newspaper provides both daily reports and in-depth coverage on international affairs related to the European Union (EU). It is regarded as one of the first English language media outlets dedicated to the reporting of EU affairs, since joined by The Brussels Times, EURACTIV and Politico Europe.
The website was first launched in 2000 by Lisbeth Kirk, a Danish journalist.
Kirk has described the role EUobsever plays as a pan-European online news medium as becoming "increasingly more vital to public debate and democracy", in proportion to the "increasing number of important decisions [that] are made at the European level”.
There is much academic debate over whether EUobsever, along with other similar publications, can be considered to be contributing to the creation of a pan-European public sphere.
The newspaper claims both financial independence from EU institutions and a daily circulation of 60,000.
In a 2008 poll of 100 Brussels-based journalists by APCO, one third claimed to use the publication as their source for EU news, making it, at the time, the "second most influential" media outlet reporting on EU affairs behind the Financial Times. Also, in a 2016 media survey, conducted by ComRes and Burson-Marsteller on ‘What Influences the Influencers’, it was found that EUobserver tended to be the preferred source of news for EU officials.
Since EUobserver is an online medium, with the exception of its quarterly magazine editions, it relies on a growing social media following on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which the company claims has risen to around 280,000 overall followers as of 2017.
- Nugent, Neill (2011). "Guide to Further Reading". The Government and Politics of the European Union. The European Union Series (7th ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. p. 464. ISBN 9780230241183. OCLC 745517862.
EUobserver provides an extremely useful report on daily issues concerning the EU.
- Mollin, Sandra (2006). Euro-English : assessing variety status. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. p. 56. ISBN 9783823362500. OCLC 804963256.
Every newspaper stand in Europe provides English-language newspapers and magazines, yet none of them are produced on the European Continent expressly with the intention of reaching a Continental European audience. Rather, newspapers such as the International Tribute or magazines such as Time or Newsweek are intended for a readership of English native speakers abroad and an international elite of non-native speakers. Thus, we cannot really group these under the heading of ‘English in European media’. The only first development in this direction is, to the author’s knowledge, the online news magazine EU Observer, which presents EU-related news to a European audience in English.
- Kelstrup, Jesper Dahl (2016). The Politics of Think Tanks in Europe. Routledge. p. 124. ISBN 9781138918320. OCLC 935193101.
One of the factors that restrict advocacy think tanks in the EU from emerging is the lack of widely read European media, not disregarding Politico.eu, EUobsever, and EurActiv.
- "European Business Awards".
- "The European Business Awards". www.businessawardseurope.com. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
- Sinardet, Dave (2011). "Multilingual democracy and public sphere: what Belgium and the EU can learn from each other". In Gosseries, Axel; Vanderborght, Yannick. Arguing about justice: Essays for Philippe Van Parijs. Presses Universitaires de Louvain. p. 312. ISBN 9782874632754. OCLC 904310256.
A European public sphere can be imagined in two ways. The first is a pan-European public sphere, carried by pan European media, available across the entire EU territory. Some of these exist today (Arte, Euronews, European Voice, EUobsever, …), but reach a very limited audience […] A problem for the rise of such European media is obviously the absence of a common language in the EU as English cannot (yet) be considered the lingua franca of all its social classes and geographical areas.
- Heath, Ryan (2016-10-07). "The Women Who Shape Brussels". Politico Europe. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
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- Terzis, Georgios (2015). Mapping foreign correspondence in Europe. Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 9780415719001. OCLC 955586223.
Of these media the Financial Times has a stable position as the leading news source […] The second most influential media among journalists is EUObsever, a Brussels-based online news source. A third of correspondents said they got their EU news from the EUObsever in the APCO poll, while 53 per cent said they read news on the site at least once a week, according to the ComRes ZN survey.
- "What Influences the Influencers? 2016 EU Media Poll findings unveiled". Burson Marsteller EU. January 28, 2016.
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- "EUobserver Media Kit" (PDF).