Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Japan Earthquake (1) Quick Overview

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Just a quick entry on the current situation in Japan. As you already know, the 9.0 magnitude quake and the tsunami hit Japan on 11th March. The aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan has been providing disaster relief and humanitarian assistance from 13th; and numerous rescue and support teams have also been dispatched from the […]

Liveblogging: Two crazy days

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I’ve been live blogging, together with Europasionaria, from the EU Council yesterday and today, gathering information and transforming them live in usable text, photos and video while interacting on Twitter with the outside world.

It’s fun, but exhausting.

Preparing for an EU Council meeting in six steps

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I will be part of a pilot project this week, participating as an accredited blogger at the EU Competitiveness Council. The background for this pilot project is here, so I’ll head directly into the preparations. Please follow me into how the blogger can prepare for an EU Council meeting (Trivia is only for experts): Step 1 […]

The Hungarian Council Presidency really wants to go 2 point O

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I know my last post on our bloggers’ meeting with one of the spokespersons of the Hungarian Presidency was way to long, so you probably didn’t have the time to read it. But it doesn’t matter, because now the two spokespersons of the Presidency have decided to start their own private blog, “Kovács & Kováts” which you shouldn’t miss.

The EU Council Presidency 2.0: New treaties, new member states, new communication

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The description of my blog says that “I attempt to translate between political science and political practice in EU matters“. Yesterday was a day full of opportunities for this. I could start talking about the combination of science and practice for the blog post and paper “Transparency in the Financing of Europarties” that I wrote […]

A well-reformed EUR-Lex would be sexy indeed: A short story on access to EU documents

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In December, I wrote a post on this blog titled “A new EUR-Lex: Finding EU documents 2.0?”. The starting point for this article was a non-public EU Council document titled “A new EUR-Lex”. I wasn’t satisfied with the fact that I could not access this document and so I did a Freedom of Information request to the EU Council Secretariat.

Participation in EU Commission meetings: A measure of Ashton’s lack of influence?

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[…] I took a look at the Commission website and the page with the Commission’s meeting protocols for 2010 in order to see how Ashton’s participation rate was in comparison to others. […] I went through all the protocols of the Barroso II Commission in 2010 (36 in total, starting with the meeting on 17 February 2010) and coded the participation of the Commissioners in an Excel file which I have uploaded to Google Fusiontables […].

Spilled water, wasted funds? – A special look at a special EU Court of Auditors report

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Water is one of the most important resources for social and economic development. Water supply for domestic consumption is essential for human health and wellbeing.

This is a very general though strong statement, one that few would argue against. You may have expected such a sentence in the UN Resolution on the International Decade for Action “Water for Life 2005-2015”.

Fighting cyber crime

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By Claudia Hillebrand One of the topics discussed earlier this week at the JHA Council were EU-wide measures to fight cyber crime. The European Commission presented a legislative proposal to the Council with the aim of revamping the EU’s anti-cyber crime toolbox, in particular concerning large-scale cyber attacks. This is a timely topic, as there […]

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