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Comitology meetings visualised: Making the inaccessible accessible?

[Update: The visualisation and the data sheet (at the end of the post) now contain > 100 meetings.]

Yesterday afternoon, I’ve blogged about Comitology and the fact that it is largely ignored by academics and the public. Yesterday evening I was speaking about the EU blogosphore at a lobby company event, which I’ve blogged about in a quite populist way this morning.

The fact that the latter has already attracted as much attention as the first by now made me think.

This blog is supposed to “translate between political science and political practice in EU matters” as you can read on the right side. So instead of ranting further against lobbyists, suits, and corporate people which doesn’t add much in this regard, I’ve decided to instead follow up on Comitology.

This is why I’ve created a storyline visualisation of 60 70 75 90 over 100 Comitology meetings (for the summary record of meetings click on a meeting in the visualisation and follow the link of the pop-up leading either to a PDF or a DOC).

Click on the image to get to the visualisation

If academia finds that Comitology is important as ~40% of EU laws pass through these Commission-led and so far member states based committees but that the system is quite intransparent – what can blogging add besides summarising these findings? It can, for example, propose practical solutions that make the seemingly inaccessible accessible.

This storyline is based on the 60 70 75 90 over 100 of the last Comitology meeting summary records that one can find through the Comitology register search. Just check “Committee meeting” (under “Dossier type”) and chose Type “Summary Record” (under “Document”) and then search. I’ve put the data (copy-pasting) into a Google Fusiontable and visualised it as a storyline. Most of the meetings are in May 2011, but some records of older meetings have also been published only recently.

Now this exercise would be much easier than doing copy-paste for an hour if the comitology data would be available as a downloadable open data set or if the Commission would do the visualisation itself. But that’s another part of the story where social science research and blogging would actually make institutions change.

In our dreams.

Update 17 June 2011: You can see the table with raw data (that you can download or sort or filter) here.

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