Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: The EU

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 […]

Tell us about your research? Mark Field on the EU Commission’s Expert Groups

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Mark Field, University of Portsmouth, reflects on his experiences as a first PhD student, discussing the motivations behind his research into the European Commission’s expert groups, as well as the challenges it has raised.

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.

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: […]

Comitology in academia and practice: Lack of attention and new developments

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Recently I talked with a Brussels-based consultant after the occasional sport we happen to do together, and I told him about my current EU policy research. His answer: All you need to know is Comitology. Now while I doubt that this is fully true, there is probably some truth in it – and looking into […]

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 […]

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