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I might go for "Food safety - labelling (not nutritional labelling, but tracerouting)"
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:36:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dang, it closed two days ago (the only "labelling" that's open for another month is nutrition labelling, which is far less interesting). Let me find something else.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:50:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've got to say this is a great find Migeru.
We discussed the possibility of opening workshops on ET with afew yesterday and this could be a good opportunity.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:59:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You do realize these have been going on for years...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:01:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
???

You mean the EU consultations?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 04:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Just click on any of the policy areas and look at the "list of "closed" consultations.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 04:33:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Some were closed years ago! And some -- like Internal Market Policy -- appear to be regular four-year consultations (ie, the one that has just closed was 2003-2006, before that was 1999-2002...) Presumably there will be a new one, 2007-2010.

This is apart from the question of the large number of consultations limited to stakeholders.

I agree we should be watching this (and I'm sure you'll have noticed there's a mailing list for notification of new consultations.) What we need is a certain degree of method in working towards policy recommendations or position statements (no, I don't think I'm telling you anything new).

What Alex referred to above, that we discussed with Alexandra in WMass during the Toulouse meet-up, had more to do with bringing together an informative synthesis of work we have already contributed here, and which is now parceled out in numerous diaries that are not necessarily easy to dredge up with the Search functions. The Wiki is useful, and Colman's Archives addition at pagehead too, but we were thinking of ways (and this links with your discussion some time back with Colman of different types of interactive software enabling community work on a document, for example -- that's in Community network technology ruminations) of pulling together information, links, and an overview (including summary of diverging views where necessary) of some major topics we have already quite extensively discussed.

My feeling is that groundwork of this kind would greatly help in formulating policy proposals.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 08:29:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just reacting to this diary being called "a gret find". It's like Núñez de Balboa "discovering" the Pacific Ocean.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 08:34:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Balboa was a doughty explorer and had a heck of a voyage to get to the Pacific... ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 08:49:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A very common set phrase in Spanish is "to discover the Mediterranean".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 08:54:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was a flippant response, but more seriously I think that the EU has done little to bring these consultations (when they are open to the public) to the public's attention.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 08:54:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So no, I don't think it's the Mediterranean!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 08:56:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Somehow the European Commission is puzzled that their attempts at involving the public keep failing. They can't figure out what they're doing wrong!

Either they're blinded by professional deformation, or they are slick liars.

I wonder which it is. I also wonder whether we shouldn't try to get in touch with Margot Wallström.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 08:58:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that this is an entire topic we need to dig at.

Generally, "we're consulting you the citizen" or "have your say" projects are just part of lookgood PR, and no one in a position of influence takes the opinions expressed seriously.

If the EU really does want to involve citizens more, then I fear they need to up their game considerably. It's not only that the Your Voice site needs finding and requires some Web knowledge to get around, it's also that it's not bang-smack updated and there are broken links (I found others than those you point out), which suggests they're not really putting the means behind it.

Also, at the very least, they should prominently explain who or what is a stakeholder, and why such or such a consultation is limited to stakeholders, or what the decision process is on that question; and they should be challenged to open as many consultations to the public as possible.

 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 09:27:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that their link to Minimum Standards on Consultation is broken on their main page.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 09:34:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps that is an expression of their minimum standards?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 09:41:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we should try to get in contact with her or her office with a coherent letter of complaint.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe we should deploy a contingent of commenters on her blog. Let's see if she (or other commenters) notice ET that way.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:12:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
HAve you seen the commentators she attracts? It's almost all the looney anti-EU crowd ranting crudely.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:14:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That will make us really noticeable to her if we start commenting and sign our contributions "Joe Blogger - European Tribune".

Though every time I've tried to read the blog of a politician or journalist I've found them boring. Even the blogs of those columnists whose contributions to newspapers I enjoy.

Juan Cole, Rahul mahajan, Zeynep Toufe, Riverbend, Stan Goff are the few personal blogs that I have read with any regularity, but that was when I lived in the US...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:19:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should agree a regular hour when we go over to nag poor Margot about this or that, so that we are noticeable abobe the British Eurosceptic chatter (which when we are there maybe we should confront, two fronts war).

I propose every Friday afternoon, say 13h CE[S]T (12h for Colman & Migeru).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 11:51:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't it better to just go in each day and each of us drop one comment when convenient?


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 11:54:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As you probably can imagine by now, no: we would go under in the midst of silly chatter that will mostly be ignored due to the trolls and the EU peoples' high-handedness (BTW the question of which came first could be a chicken-and-egg problem).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 08:24:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are we going to do, debate among ourselves on her blog? That makes no sense.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 08:34:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I guess we'd take turns debating the moderator (and getting across his filter), some trolls present at the moment, and make all relevant points we then want to make.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 08:37:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a bad idea - I can see some interaction on ET as well when a particular debatable topic pops up and recopy it into a diary to be posted here.

At a minumum success rate, we'll draw a few trolls to ET!

BTW, I just did an attempt to go through the Walstrom blog. I feel rather filthy now. And we thought ET had troubles with mutliple languages...

by Nomad on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 11:15:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I feel tempted to write Ms. W's blog off, honestly.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 11:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I'd agree. The blog's a PR exercise of the "Have Your Say" kind. The consultations may be a more solid base for communication.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 01:54:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Assuming you're a stakeholder...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 03:07:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She mentions (but forgets to link) a site called Debate Europe which was launched in march but I didn't know about (I wasn't paying attention). Has anyone checked it out?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:22:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that's what you get for consulting citizens I see why they're not all that enthusiastic.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:29:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They have a discussion forum with three broad areas:
  • Europe's economic and social development
  • Feeling towards Europe and the Union's tasks
  • Europe's borders and its role in the world


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:33:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just figured out what's wrong with Margot Wallström's blog...

Not only is the comments section moderated, but the moderator is the one who spars with the (mostly Eurosceptic) crowd that comments on her writing.

Take, for example, the current spat on a topic dear to our hearts:

Si vous voulez mieux comprendre les gens en Europe, la première chose serait peut être de respecter leur dignité en respectant leur langue. Vous considérez les Anglophones comme étant les citoyens supérieurs, seul leur avis vous intéresse, seules les idées pensées en anglais vous intéressent, et vous même, avez abandonné votre langue maternelle pour ce blogue. Cette Europe là m'écoeure.

Wàng

A slight variation on a reply I posted in the Debate Europe site:

For the Debate Europe site we have already asked for Margot's contribution to be translated into German, French and Swedish, which represent 92% of the comments there.

...

Margot writes her blog in English because (a) she speaks English and (b) it is the most-understood language in Europe.

...

Posted by The Moderator

Dear moderator, à mon tour, je reproduis ce que j'ai écris sur debate europe.

...

This « fait-accompli » policy of the moderator and the Commission, typical of the anglosaxon mentality, makes me vomite !

Wàng

Wang - first, I'm not Anglo-Saxon, neither is Margot and neither is the Commission.

...

The reason Margot's post to the Debate Europe site is not being translated into Italian is simple - only 1.7% of the comments have been in Italian.

Posted by The Moderator

This blog is not a dialogue, it's talking from a lectern and then letting the nanny moderate the childrens' discussions among themselves. I understand that she doesn't have time to react to the comments as they happen, but the least she could do is reply to some of the comments at the end of the day.

On the Debate Europe site, she periodically summarizes the discussion. I found the following interesting criticism in a thread started by a message of hers called The Discussion So Far"

I would also like to ask Ms Walstrom why she thinks that the postings on this site back the eu, has she got a filter that removes anything that is not 100% europhile, the majority of the postings are either eurosceptic completely, or people who want the eu to hand power back to the sovereign states.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 04:32:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the current spat on Wallstrom's blog is representative of what normally goes on there, I don't think I'm going to be commenting there very often.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 08:05:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, that's normal. It is completely destroyed by trolls.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 08:19:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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