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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Hugh’s Fish Fight and live streaming statistics of the EU Council

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Two weeks ago, I wrote “Hugh’s Fish Fight or: The blind spot of the EU social media gurus“. As you may know, I am doing my academic research on information flows in EU policy-making and so I was interested whether a campaign like Hugh’s Fish Fight would also have any effect on the attention to […]

No April Fools’ Day joke: Waiting eight months for one EU document

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I would love to say that this is an April Fools’ Day joke, but it ain’t. Eight months ago, I have requested 1 document from the European Commission, and I still have not received anything. Initially, access was refused and the ordinary deadlines prolonged, even beyond the legal limits set by EU law. At the […]

Hugh’s Fish Fight or: The blind spot of the EU social media gurus

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The European Parliament has about 370,000 fans on Facebook. Hugh’ Fish Fight campaign has 238,000. The English language Twitter account of the European Parliament has 10,250 followers. Herman van Rompuy has 51,000. Hugh’s Fish fight has almost 30,000. The main campaign video of the campaign has been seen almost 300,000 times since the end of […]

2012: The year in which the Commission realised the existence of online social networks

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The following are quotes from the Commission meeting minutes of 22 February 2012 from their debate about ACTA: “[Reding] concluded by highlighting the rising influence of social networks on the Internet and the need for the Commission to take account of this in its communication policy and in dealing with various dossiers. Instructions had already been given to the […]

Cathy Ashton and her spokes-Mann: An International Women’s Day observation

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Today, EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton has issued two statements, one on the conflict in Sudan and one on the International Women’s Day, the latter with a focus on the Middle East/North Africa. The statements issued on Sudan is introduced with: “The Spokesperson of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security […]

The fight over Lisbon competencies in EU fisheries policy continues

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It’s been more than two years now that the Treaty of Lisbon is the constitutional foundation of the work of the European Union. Yet, there are still turf wars between the EU institutions on how the powers laid out in the Treaties are to be implemented. An example comes from the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): […]

Executive pay & EU Commission debates about Greece

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In the debate on latest economic developments – focussing on Greece – during the Commission meeting on 14 February, the following point was raised (among others): “the problem posed by the discrepancy between the huge sacrifices asked of the great majority of the Greek people and the fact that senior executive pay remained untouched, making the efforts […]

More subsidiarity yet less democratic control in EU matters?

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I recently had the opportunity to talk with an official (director level) working in a financial administration of one of Germany’s federal states who shared an interesting observation: Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty with its subsidiarity protocol and also following the new internal participation rights of German parliaments introduced after the famous […]

So similar, so different, so European – So convincing!

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It’s been a while that we have seen something coming from Brussels that actually reflects a positive and yet convincing vision of the European project. This video is convincing not because it is explains from A-Z what the EU does for us like many of those fancy PR videos that try to sell us EU […]

EU leaks, lobbying and the Deutsche Börse – NYSE merger

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Some weeks ago, the Commission refused to give its agreement to the merger of Deutsche Börse and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). I’m not in the position to judge this decision, but the public minutes of the College meeting of 1 February where this decision was taken reveal an interesting argumentation concerning lobbying and leaks […]

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