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Category Archives: Law & Justice

Official Secrets — A Movie Review from an Academic Perspective

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We went to see the movie “Official Secrets” this weekend, starring Keira Knightley in the role of Iraq War whistleblower Katharine Gun (UK). The film is based on the book “The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War”, and earlier this year Gun also talked to The Guardian (podcast) about her story. For the past decade, […]

2019 in Political Science (2) – Secrecy in Europe and Academic Trajectories

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I have promised to blog more frequently this year and to share how life and work as a political scientist looks like from my end. For this week’s post, I use the occasion of Vigjilenca Abazi‘s announcement that her monograph “Secrecy and Oversight in the EU” is soon to be published with Oxford University Press (Buy it! Read […]

Barroso freaks out in fear of environmental NGOs

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I just read the summary of last week’s EU Commission meeting (18 July 2012), and in there I stumbled over a very interesting quote from a discussion on two recent EU Court rulings*: “The PRESIDENT [Barroso] said that the potential consequences of these judgments were very far-reaching;  leaving aside the damage done to the Commission’s reputation by […]

EU problems that really matter: Delegated acts

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  You may wonder: What is the most important, the most pressing, and thus the most recurring problem in EU policy-making for EU member states? The financial and economic crises? The European agriculture? High-speed internet for disconnected regions? Not really. In fact, the most recurring problem is “delegated acts“, a special legal instrument introduced by […]

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 […]

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: […]

Access to EU Commission documents for my research: Still waiting and hoping

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As reported one month ago, I’ve requested a meeting protocol of a meeting of the Chef de Cabinets of the European Commission, which I need for my research. Having requested the document on 30 July 2011, the Commission refused to grant me any access on 12 August, and so on 12 August I filed a confirmatory […]

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 […]

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