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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Little steps towards less transparency in the EU Commission?

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Sometimes I get confused. As you know from previous blog posts, I have requested the “Results of [a] weekly meeting of Chefs de cabinet” of the European Commission, the penultimate before the summer break.*  But there may be more to this matter than just a case of a freedom of information request: Until the summer […]

Barroso’s State of the Union 2011: My SOTEU bingo results

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This morning, EU Commission President Barroso delivered his “State of the Union” (text, video). We at Bloggingportal.eu have called for a Barroso Buzzword/Bullshit Bingo to be played, and I have proposed my own list of 10 words/phrases to be said during the speech. Here is how I succeeded: Europe 2020 – check 1x Crisis – […]

A story for the Right to Know Day 2011: EU rights and EU Commission practice

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1 1/2 months ago, I’ve requested a meeting protocol of the Chefs de Cabinet of the EU Commission. As blogged before, my initial request received a negative reply.

I appealed this decision, and – as I have also blogged – on 6 September I was informed that the Commission needed an additional 15 working days. Yesterday, I have received the following answer: […]

‘The shady side of sunlight’ – a reply to Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen

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Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen‘s paper “‘The shady side of sunlight’” for the Annual Conference of the European Group for Public Administration tries to argue why transparency is bad and problematic. His view seems to be based on two main arguments: If there is more transparency, government will be demystified and people become cynical. If there is more […]

Access to EU Commission documents: 2010 statistics and 2011 academic realities [Updated]

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Yesterday, the EU Commission published its report on the application of the EU access to documents regulation in 2010 (PDF). The report gives some interesting figures, but one should see them in relation to reality, which shall be done below. A) The report’s figures in a quick and selective summary: In 2010, there were 6127 […]

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 […]

Myths and facts on the EU budget: The EU Commission doesn’t understand politics

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The EU Commission has produced a website on “Myths and facts” about the EU budget. Now while some of the myths and facts corrections are just simple detail provisions, others are misleading, simple spin or, what I think, a misunderstanding of politics. The Commission tries to make this a “myth vs facts” issue, but it […]

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 […]

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