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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Waiting six months for one document from the EU Commission

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On 30 July 2011, I requested a meeting protocol of the Chefs de Cabinets of the European Commission. On 12 August , the Secretariat General of the EU Commission refused any access, not even to parts of the document. I went into appeal, and on 6 September the Commission informed me that they were unable […]

Norway’s Europeanisation and the democratic deficit

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The Norwegian Government has just published a 900-page long report titled “Outside and Inside - Norway’s agreements with the European Union” (the link leads to the English translation of the 1st chapter). The report summarises the scope of Europeanisation of Norway and the implications this has for the country and involved notable (EU) scholars such as […]

Communicating EU technocracy and science: Is it the same?

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Fellow Bloggingportal.eu editor Mathew has just published an excellent piece titled “Of technocrats, journalistic balance and telling EU stories“. His post reflects in a way what I try with this blog, that is to think about whether translation between the world of self-imposed balance and reason and the world of purposeful (or purposeless) conflict of […]

The EPP’s stance on Hungary criticised by Cohn-Bendit

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The European Peoples Party (EPP) in the European Parliament is more and more showing face. It votes collectively against more EU transparency. And it defends Victor Orban’s “new” Hungary arguing that all his government did was to abolish “a Stalinist constitution”, following the defence line of Orban. That’s why it is worth listening to Daniel […]

New EP President Martin Schulz on first reading agreements

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Yesterday, Martin Schulz (Socialists & Democrats) was elected President of the European Parliament until 2014. But while his acceptance speech, although quite nice, probably will not be remembered as one of the major political speeches in 2012, one line of it still caught my attention (my highlight): “If our Parliament is to become more visible, if […]

In the Parlamentarium

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Together with Andy, I went to the Parlamentarium, the new EU Parliament visitors’ centre, yesterday. One day later I actually still don’t know what to think about it. It kind of feels like a cosy and fancy vision of the European Parliament, with some interesting features and some strange things that don’t make sense. Parlamentarium making-of video After getting […]

#28c3: “The coming war on general purpose computation” as THE 2011 speech

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Take all of the political speeches of all EU Commissioners, all Members of the European Parliament, all Presidents of any of the EU institutions in 2011 and all other talks of EU officials, EU lobbyists and so forth on innovation, technology, the internet, globalisation, democracy in the 21st century. Now replace all these speeches with […]

#28c3: Hack the EU or why politics should take note of a hacker congress

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Yesterday, I’ve found my way to the Chaos Communication Congress 2011 in Berlin to take a look “Behind enemy lines” at a congress bringing together German and international hackers of all kind (note: most talks are on Youtube). At first sight, such a meeting does not seem to be relevant for the political sphere, in particular […]

Finally a reply to my request for access to EU Commission documents [updated]

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It’s been a long time I’ve been waiting for a decision by the EU Commission on my requests for access to EU documents – but today I finally received a letter signed by the Secretary General of the European Commission, Catherine Day (photo). This request concerned a set of five documents I need for my […]

Follow-up: Nannies are not considered subject to EU foodstuff regulation by the Commission

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Earlier this week I blogged about Berlin authorities claiming that day nannies would be considered “food business operators” under EU law and had to follow detailed reporting duties under this law. Mr Vincent, the spokesperson of the Commission Directorate General for Health & Consumers whose response I was still awaiting on Tuesday now has made […]

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