Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

The illusion of the EU bubble and the discovery of the EU foam

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Mathew believes in the existence of the EU bubble. For him, EU blogging is just the tiny fraction of overlap between the small world of EU experts and the small world of bloggers. For him, we need to build bridges to escape from the bubble. But all that Mathew needs is to open his eyes. […]

GroenLinks comes out against Democracy

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Yesterday I tweeted this story to Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, who belongs to GL’s centre-left rivals D66, but she didn’t seem interested in exploiting it for electoral gain, so I guess I’m going to have to do it myself. As it turns out, GroenLinks, the Dutch Green Party, thinks it is a good thing […]

Access to documents from the EU Commission after 9 months

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If I will die at the age of 75, I will have waited ~1% of my life for the EU Commission to come up with a decision regarding a 21-page document. I’ve blogged about the story in the past, but here’s a short version of this story supplemented by  how it ended today. At the end […]

Applause from Commissioner Andor for the socialist turn in France

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You will hear a lot of congratulations in the days to come for François Hollande. The first ones have already come in, and among the ones congratulating was the social democrat President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz who wrote in a tweet earlier this evening: “Félicitations à François Hollande! C’est le moment de changer […]

On the road to #rp12: Multilingual EU blogging, translations and the fascination of Presseurop

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The EU-focussed blogosphere is dominated by English language blogs. The search for multilingual EU blogging is cumbersome, even when pan-European political debates take place on issues of common interest. Some of the solutions to overcome these problems are (1) bilingual EU blogs, (2) EU bloggers writing different blogs in different languages, (3) ad hoc cross-blog translation as […]

EU Council transparency: New procedures and 2011 statistics

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Recently, I have remarked changes in the procedures for handling access to documents requests in the EU Council. Especially a new written procedure sparked some protest among EU member states, which led to the need to clarify the difference between the informal and formal procedures in the responsible Working Party on Information (meeting summary, p. […]

First public summary of a meeting of the Council Working Party on Information

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Sometimes, even the EU Council can surprise me. This time by issuing the first ever public summary (as far as I know) of a meeting of the Working Party on Information, which is the working group of member states’ officials dealing with access to documents requests and the reform of Regulation 1049/2001 on Access to EU Documents. […]

A French eurosceptic President?

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One of the more notable aspects of the French Presidential elections has been the extent to which all the candidates have been willing to bash the EU and European integration more generally. As the very helpful manifesto comparison tool from Le Monde shows all too clearly, euroscepticism has been rife.

Why was ACTA approved in the EU Fisheries Council?

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In December 2011, the EU Council decision to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was approved during a Fisheries Council meeting as an “A-Item”, i.e. without discussion at ministerial level. While both, the fact that a Fisheries Council approves ACTA and that this happens without ministerial debate, may look strange at first sight, these are […]

The European Parliament elections 2014 will be huge

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In just a bit more than two years, the next European Parliament elections will take place and public discussions about the personnel for the 2014 European Parliament elections have already started. But more important than that: These next European Parliament elections will be huge! They will be huge not just because they decide about the composition of […]

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