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Category Archives: Current Affairs

Tobacco and a public consultation: NGOs versus NGOs

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England Expects has written a blog post titled “Citizens versus NGOs“, quoting the summary of reponses of government agencies, NGOs and individual contributions from the recently published “Report on the public consultation on the possible revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC)“. With the majority of individual contributions (~82,000 in total) being against more restrictive measures against […]

Political culture in Norway: “More democracy and openness” as a reaction to violence

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Yesterday, a double act of extreme violence has hit Norway and speculations on who did this have started as it is usual in the news media cycle. Besides the explosion in the governmental district in central Oslo, for me the more shocking act – if one can say this –  is the shooting of young […]

Google+ and 155 years of social network analysis

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In 1856, the Norwegian ethnologist Eilert Sundt described the rural social structures of Norwegian peasants (and their farms) called “bedelags” (Google translates this as “prayer teams”). These “bedelags” became visible at certain social events (like funerals) when people from different farms came together. Sundt noted that, if visualised, the rural social network would look like a […]

Comitoloy and Cyprus: High politics with low attention

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One week ago I blogged about the lack of attention to Comitology. One of the reasons you’d frequently hear about why Comitology is ignored is that it is sooooo technical and sooooo intransparent. In order to tackle the latter, I’ve produced a visualisation of recent Comitology meetings (which includes, after several updates, 90 meetings at […]

The schizophrenic Council, Part 2: The follow-up story on how the EU Council deliberately prevents transparency

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“Any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, has a right of access to documents of the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union, whatever their medium.” Article 42, Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the European Union On Monday or Tuesday […]

Preparing for an EU Council meeting in six steps

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I will be part of a pilot project this week, participating as an accredited blogger at the EU Competitiveness Council. The background for this pilot project is here, so I’ll head directly into the preparations. Please follow me into how the blogger can prepare for an EU Council meeting (Trivia is only for experts): Step 1 […]

The Hungarian Council Presidency really wants to go 2 point O

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I know my last post on our bloggers’ meeting with one of the spokespersons of the Hungarian Presidency was way to long, so you probably didn’t have the time to read it. But it doesn’t matter, because now the two spokespersons of the Presidency have decided to start their own private blog, “Kovács & Kováts” which you shouldn’t miss.

The EU Council Presidency 2.0: New treaties, new member states, new communication

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The description of my blog says that “I attempt to translate between political science and political practice in EU matters“. Yesterday was a day full of opportunities for this. I could start talking about the combination of science and practice for the blog post and paper “Transparency in the Financing of Europarties” that I wrote […]

A well-reformed EUR-Lex would be sexy indeed: A short story on access to EU documents

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In December, I wrote a post on this blog titled “A new EUR-Lex: Finding EU documents 2.0?”. The starting point for this article was a non-public EU Council document titled “A new EUR-Lex”. I wasn’t satisfied with the fact that I could not access this document and so I did a Freedom of Information request to the EU Council Secretariat.

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