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Category Archives: The EU

But they don’t know what they were doing: Comitology edition

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“[W]hen we speak of EU primary law, we are referring to a kind of legal text that even law experts have hard time digesting (and of course the question is whether those who sign these treaties really know what they are doing?)” (Protesilaos Stavrou) I wanted to write this blog post for a while but […]

Conflicts over new access to documents procedures in the Council

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The EU Council has in fact changed its procedure for access to documents as I speculated last month. The introduction of a written procedure when dealing with appeals (‘confirmatory applications’) seems to have come in reaction to an own-initiative report issued by the EU Ombudsman last June. However, the new procedure does not come without conflict […]

General Secretariat of the EU Council restructured

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According to a new Council document, the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union will be restructured as of 1 April 2012 – this is about 9 months after Uwo Corsepius took over the office of Secretary General from Pierre de Boissieu. The current list of Directorates General of the Council Secretariat, according […]

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 […]

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 […]

New procedures regarding access to documents in the EU Council?

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It was back in October when I discovered that on 29 June 2011 the EU Ombudsman had opened an own-initiative case against the EU Council regarding the appeals procedure (‘confirmatory application’) for access to documents requests. In short, the observation was that more or less all confirmatory applications in the Council had been handled outside the basic […]

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