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Category Archives: The EU

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 […]

In the Parlamentarium

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Together with Andy, I went to the Parlamentarium, the new EU Parliament visitors’ centre, yesterday. One day later I actually still don’t know what to think about it. It kind of feels like a cosy and fancy vision of the European Parliament, with some interesting features and some strange things that don’t make sense. Parlamentarium making-of video After getting […]

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 […]

Making use of Neelie Kroes’ open data policy: A request for the Commission expert group register

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Today, I’ve made the following request for documents to the EU Commission (links added): “In line with Regulation 1049/2001 and in combination with Commission Decision 2011/833/EU on the the reuse of Commission documents, in particular Article 8.1, I request access to the full database of the “Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities” […]

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 […]

Social network analysis: Core elites & peripheral monkeys

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The great thing of working with social network analysis is that is a truly inter- and transdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approach. Network analysts come from such diverse backgrounds as sociology, physics, psychology, biology or, as in my case, political science (and more). This interdisciplinary approach can sometimes lead to quite funny moments when all these […]

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding wants to scrap useless EU websites

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On the agenda of the EU Commission meeting of 30 November 2011 (meeting minutes, PDF), Commissioners discussed the rationalisation of IT in the Commission to save up to 10 million Euros until 2014. In the minutes of the meeting, there’s also also an interesting statement by EU Communications (and other issues) Commissioner Reding: “Ms REDING … […]

Horizon 2020 and plagiarism: The Guttenberg paragraph

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As a follow-up to the 7th Framework Program, which is currently the main EU instrument to support research and development, the Commission has proposed Horizon 2020. On 30 November, the Commission published its concrete proposal on “the rules for the participation and dissemination in ‘Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)’“. […]

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