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Category Archives: Current Affairs

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 […]

EU Commission fears power loss in the Eurozone crisis

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As you may remember, the last European Council meeting on 8 & 9 December 2011 ended with the conclusion that no unanimity for a Treaty change was achieved. Thus, an intergovernmental treaty was needed to move ahead to continue the anti-crisis measures. Reading through the Commission meeting protocol of the session following this European Council […]

#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 […]

The European Year of Citizens 2013: What are the other years?

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The Commission has proposed that 2013 shall be “The European Year of Citizens“. I already find “European Years” in general a quite ridiculous concept, but this one is plainly, and I excuse my choice of words, stupid. If a European Year is meant to do something, then to focus the attention on something that deserves more […]

Neelie Kroes and Guttenberg – Partnering for smart growth

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Last week, the EU Council published “Conclusions on partnering in research and innovation“. Content-wise, this in an awfully drafted, hardly understandable and significantly watered down document. Given its bad quality and lack of substance, it will not have any impact on research and innovation in Europe. However, it contains the following sentence: “ACKNOWLEDGES that both […]

Neelie Kroes meets K.T. zu Guttenberg: No dream team for European academia

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Faithful readers of PolSciEU will know that I’ve blogged about EU open data, useful EU websites and the proper use of sources in the past. And so faithful readers will understand that EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes was kind of at the heart of this blogger yesterday with her delicate balance act between greatness and failure – and […]

The EU is a nanny state – but doesn’t care for its image

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The story about the EU allegedly going after professional nannies considering them “food business operators” in the meaning of the EU foodstuff hygiene regulation is heatedly discussed in Germany, in particular around Berlin – in fora (also here), in private blogs and  in politicians’ blogs. Even the German Federal Association of Day Nannies has covered the […]

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 […]

Nannies as food business operators under EU regulations? – No response from Dalli’s spokesman Frederic Vincent

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On Thursday, 1 December, I contacted Commissioner Dalli’s spokesman Frederic Vincent via email with the following request: “Dear Mr Vincent, according to German press reports, day nannies in Berlin have been contacted by the local youth welfare offices asking them to follow detailed reporting rules as they are to be considered food entrepreneurs under the […]

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