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The Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: (No) General Approach for the June Council

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On Tuesday, the EU Council on Fisheries meets in Luxembourg to discuss its general approach for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (agenda, Council background note, Presidency progress report). CFP Reform Watch has already covered the major issues earlier this week, highlighting division in the Council. Now, a document just published by the Council summarises […]

Rio+20: The EU approach and current developments

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Some weeks ago, the European Commission discussed the upcoming Rio+20 conference on sustainable development (20-22 June 2012). When you read through the minutes of 22 May meeting of the Commission (p. 13-18), one can see that the expectations at EU level are not very high: “[Commissioner Piebalgs] said that the only outcome that the European Union could […]

Double the secrecy for half the transparency in the Council

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Yesterday, the Working Party on Information of the EU Council discussed the Council mandate for the informal negotiations with the European Parliament for the reform of the EU access to documents law (agenda). On the agenda of that meeting, there were a number of documents containing the details of this possible mandate. According to the […]

EU Parliament attacks Council over Schengen decision

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Yesterday, the Council of Ministers for Justice attacked Schengen, and they attacked hard (Update: Council press release & formal “compromise” text). So it’s good to see the four major political groups in the European Parliament put out strong press releases indicating that they won’t accept this marche arrière. People’s Party: “A lost opportunity and a reversion to […]

A note to Commission spokesperson Antony Gravili

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Dear Mr Gravili, I don’t know whether the EUobserver quoted you out of context, and whether you meant to say that only (or mostly) big corporation lawyers and “nutty NGOs” make use of the EU transparency rules. I don’t know whether you have ever tried yourself to request documents from the European Commission. Maybe you […]

Lobbying EP rapporteurs through committee secretariats

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In a very interesting academic paper titled “Do rapporteurs receive independent expert policy advice? Indirect lobbying via the European Parliament’s committee secretariat“* the author David Marschal concludes on the basis of structured interviews and questionnaires that: “Secretariat officials play an often important role in the legislative process, but, rather than serving as the source of independent policy expertise, they act […]

Really, Commissioner Potocnik, 72 billion Euro a year?

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In a recent speech, EU Commissioner Janez Potocnik claimed that: “A report we have just published calculates that full implementation of the existing waste legislation by Member States would […] save € 72 billion a year “ This figure looked a little ridiculous to me, so I mocked it on Twitter and soon after got a […]

EU assistance to the Turkish Cypriot community

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Just in time for the upcoming Cyprus EU Council Presidency, the EU Court of Auditors issued a special report on EU assistance to the Turkish Cypriot community. In fact, between February 2006 and September 2011, a total of 292.3 million Euro was planned and 259.4 million were actually contracted,  178.8 million Euro of which have […]

My presentation at the Personal Democracy Forum Brussels 2012

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Some people have asked me whether I could share my presentation from the Personal Democracy Forum in Brussels yesterday. That’s done. For all those who like to read all the posts written in preparation for this talk, click here. And be aware that my “EU foam” metaphor used in a previous post and during the […]

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