Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

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 […]

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 […]

Myths and facts on the EU budget: The EU Commission doesn’t understand politics

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The EU Commission has produced a website on “Myths and facts” about the EU budget. Now while some of the myths and facts corrections are just simple detail provisions, others are misleading, simple spin or, what I think, a misunderstanding of politics. The Commission tries to make this a “myth vs facts” issue, but it […]

Comitoloy and Cyprus: High politics with low attention

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One week ago I blogged about the lack of attention to Comitology. One of the reasons you’d frequently hear about why Comitology is ignored is that it is sooooo technical and sooooo intransparent. In order to tackle the latter, I’ve produced a visualisation of recent Comitology meetings (which includes, after several updates, 90 meetings at […]

Losing EU democracy over anti-crisis measures: A political debate

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Leigh Phillips of the EUobserver yesterday published a long piece on how democracy is endangered by the current technocratic reactions to the crisis. While it is important to notice and to warn when democracy is in danger, Leigh’s observations are not that new. More than two weeks ago, Shawn of the European Economic Policy blog wrote […]

Europe on the streets: Europrotests in the focus of research

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In a year in which revolutions and large-scale street protests seem to spread across the world as E.Coli bacteria spread through the European Union recently, it’s fun to find a research article titled “Protest Actions against the European Union, 1992-2007” (full article behind paywall) in the 2nd issue of 2011 of “West European Politics” [Disclosure: […]

The schizophrenic Council, Part 2: The follow-up story on how the EU Council deliberately prevents transparency

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“Any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, has a right of access to documents of the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union, whatever their medium.” Article 42, Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the European Union On Monday or Tuesday […]

The schizophrenic Council

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Are you allowed to spoil a party when you are invited? What if the host of the party actually is quite schizophrenic, one day ignores you and the other day treats you like your best friend? The EU Council is such a schizophrenic institution. EU member states either use it to fight populist fights against […]

Some remarks on the Council briefing: Off the record!

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This morning, thanks to my short-term blogger accreditation,  I’ve been at the off-the-record briefings on the upcoming Competitiveness Council (see my previous posts on my preparations for the Council here and here). I am not supposed to talk about the content of these briefings unless I quote “Brussels sources” or “EU sources”. This is actually a […]

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