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Category Archives: Current Affairs

My complaint to the EU Ombudsman: Complaint procedure has started

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After having telephoned with the official responsible at the EU Ombudsman for my complaint against the EU Commission, today I have received the following confirmation from the Ombudsman’s office: “Dear Mr Patz, On 9 November 2011, you submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against the Commission concerning its handling of your request for access […]

EU Access to Documents Reform: Council’s view on Parliament’s report

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Last week, the EU Parliament Civil Liberties committee – with the exception of the EPP group – voted in favour of a draft report which in essence supports more access to EU documents (see my blog post). Here is how the EU Council sees the report: “This draft report substantially restricts the possibility to refuse […]

Simple feedback loops in EU social media – an example

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Using social media can be so simple for EU institutions and those working in these institutions if they understand that all that is needed is to listen and to (inter)act. An example: Today, a patent law blogger complained about dysfunctional parts of the relaunched EU Parliament website. With a tweet, I shared this complaint with […]

Damanaki has a strategy but no plan – #EUfail

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How does the EU do politics? You can best see it in a speech that Maritime Affairs Commissioner Damanaki held to today in Lisbon. The speech starts with a big announcement: “… the Atlantic plays a critical role in Europe’s history and identity. It is of vital importance for EU trade and contains tremendous potentials for […]

MEP Renate Sommer – Your advocate against transparency in the EU Parliament (updated)

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This week, the Civil Liberties Committee (‘LIBE’) of the European Parliament has passed by 33 to 17 votes a report on the legislative proposal(s) by the EU Commission to reform the EU’s access to documents regulation.* This means that finally the process on reforming the EU transparency legislation will move on, although I have my doubts […]

All new EU websites coming up?

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“Unfortunately, those looking for documents gave the lowest satisfaction rating, with 13 percent ranking the site either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.“ That’s one of the findings of a user survey the EU Commission web team have made ahead of the revamp of the Commission’s website. And this was one of the reasons for my life […]

Europe in Blogs and Social Networks – Some thoughts ahead of an academic workshop

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Next week, invited by @nvondarza, I’ll be speaking about “Europe in Blogs and Social Networks” (PDF, in German) with students of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder – that’s the Frankfurt at the German-Polish border, not the ECB-Frankfurt. There’s much to say on this subject, there has been said much about it recently, and I […]

My complaint to the EU Ombudsman [updated]

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When I sat on a panel together with the EU Ombudsman in Ireland in February this year discussing legal and practical aspects of the EU access to documents regulation (1049/2001*), I said to Mr Diamandouros (the Ombudsman) that it may well be that I’d have to make use of his office in the course of […]

Consulting the EP intergroup database: MEP Mikolasik and a tweet by Commissioner Sefcovic

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Just saw these tweets by EU Commissioner Maros Sefcovic: “Just finished mtg w/MEP M. Mikolasik, co-chair on EP Intergroup on bioethics about his view of recent ECJ ruling on patentability of hESC.” (link) “Picture from mtg w/MEP M. Mikolasik http://pic.twitter.com/TlK5fs8N” (link) The MEP in question is Marek Mikolasik, a Slovak European People’s Party group member […]

The EU Council’s right to initiative? – Less pay for EU officials requested

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Everyone studying the European Union knows that it’s the Commission that proposes legislation. However, this doesn’t say the Commission is always at the origin of such proposals. The Lisbon Treaty for example grants the Council the right to request, with a simple majority, from the Commission “any studies the Council considers desirable for the attainment […]

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