Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Monthly Archives: July 2011

Tobacco and a public consultation: NGOs versus NGOs

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England Expects has written a blog post titled “Citizens versus NGOs“, quoting the summary of reponses of government agencies, NGOs and individual contributions from the recently published “Report on the public consultation on the possible revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC)“. With the majority of individual contributions (~82,000 in total) being against more restrictive measures against […]

Are we getting a European party system?

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The Guardian just published a nice timeline-map visualisation on “how political shifts have altered the map of Europe” mainly showing the change of political left-right majorities across Europe over the past 40 years. Let’s complement this with an academic perspective: Through the analysis of 264 elections in 30 European countries (EU-27 + Norway, Iceland and […]

Open data activism, political science and network visualisation of EU expert groups

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[…] Having access to open data makes part of our life much easier, but for now, getting open data that is interesting for our research still seems to be as much activism as it is part of research. Take, for example, the image below. What you see there is an image of a network of 84 EU Commission expert groups and subgroups (a link means a minimum of 3 joint members)*. […]

European Parliament Library Briefings

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European Parliament (EP) Library Briefings are short topical summaries mostly on currently relevant matters (e.g. because a committee is dealing with a topic) the EP library staff produces in particular for MEPs and their assistants. Until last year, these documents were not made available to the public – at least that’s what I’ve heard at […]

Political culture in Norway: “More democracy and openness” as a reaction to violence

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Yesterday, a double act of extreme violence has hit Norway and speculations on who did this have started as it is usual in the news media cycle. Besides the explosion in the governmental district in central Oslo, for me the more shocking act – if one can say this –  is the shooting of young […]

The search for a coherent strategic diplomacy in EU foreign policy

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What is the most important lesson that the European External Action Service should take from the ‘Arab Spring’ ? In an interview by Cristian Nitoiu from Loughborough University, Professor Michael Smith evaluates the development of the External Actions and the goal of creating a coherent strategic diplomacy within the European Union’s foreign policy.