Ideas on Europe

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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

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 […]

Follow-up: Nannies are not considered subject to EU foodstuff regulation by the Commission

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Earlier this week I blogged about Berlin authorities claiming that day nannies would be considered “food business operators” under EU law and had to follow detailed reporting duties under this law. Mr Vincent, the spokesperson of the Commission Directorate General for Health & Consumers whose response I was still awaiting on Tuesday now has made […]

My complaint to the EU Ombudsman: Complaint procedure has started

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After having telephoned with the official responsible at the EU Ombudsman for my complaint against the EU Commission, today I have received the following confirmation from the Ombudsman’s office: “Dear Mr Patz, On 9 November 2011, you submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against the Commission concerning its handling of your request for access […]

EU Access to Documents Reform: Council’s view on Parliament’s report

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Last week, the EU Parliament Civil Liberties committee – with the exception of the EPP group – voted in favour of a draft report which in essence supports more access to EU documents (see my blog post). Here is how the EU Council sees the report: “This draft report substantially restricts the possibility to refuse […]

Europe in Blogs and Social Networks @ #ViaEU – Going local instead of European?

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There was one question/remark by a professor who attended my talk on “Europe in Blogs and Social Networks” yesterday – the pre-workshop blog posts are here and here – that quite hit the nail on the head. His question was in how far blogging/social media actually impacted EU politics. And he added that if blogging/social media […]

My complaint to the EU Ombudsman [updated]

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When I sat on a panel together with the EU Ombudsman in Ireland in February this year discussing legal and practical aspects of the EU access to documents regulation (1049/2001*), I said to Mr Diamandouros (the Ombudsman) that it may well be that I’d have to make use of his office in the course of […]

A Union of Choice: Why the Greek referendum opens our eyes

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The Greek referendum is an eye-opener for all of us, no matter if it will happen as announced yesterday by Greece’s prime minister Papandreou or not. It is an eye-opener because it suddenly makes visible the complexity of issues that are intertwined in what is a set of local, national, regional, European and global crises. […]

How the press services of EU Parliament and Commission see each other

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“All the EP press officers considered their services to be of better quality than those of the Commission, which dovetails with the insights provided by the journalists. Nonetheless, the fact that several officials from the EC shared this assumption was a somewhat striking result. […] Between the lines […], one might read the Commissions’ staff dissatisfaction with the strictness […]

The European Parliament Prize for Journalism 2011: A #fail in the internet category [updated]

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The winners of this year’s European Parliament Prize for Journalism have been announced today, and the jury’s choice for the winning text in the category “Internet” is what one might call a #fail on the internet. Now, let me say that this is not a critique to the winner of the prize who wrote a […]

Which civil society organisation received most EU Commission funding 2003-2007?

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“The primary findings are that EU-level groups, groups that promote a European identity and groups based in western Europe receive stronger support from the Commission.“ These findings are presented by Christina Mahoney and Michael J. Beckstrand in their newly published article “Following the Money: European Union Funding of Civil Society Organizations“*. In their research, they use a […]

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