maandag 12 december 2011

EU Monitoring

Monitoring the EU Process.

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For people working in EU Affairs, monitoring EU policies is part of their daily routines. But before you become efficient and smart at it, you must first go through a lengthy learning process where you discover where to find the information and how to organize yourself. In this text we will explain how to organize yourself and where to find the information you need to stay on top of EU developments.

Organizing yourself.

Monitoring EU policies and legislation should be built-in to your daily routine. Ideally there are several moments when you commit yourself to plow through agenda's, newspapers and whatnot. It starts with your daily routine. In the morning (along with a cup of coffee) try to read the more general papers such as the Financial Times, Euractiv, Europolitics, the EUobserver. Then in the afternoon, check the Commissions EU Midday Express for latest news and speeches from Commissionaires. Speeches are not to be underestimated as they always reveal hints at future developments.

If it is a Committee Week drop by at the European Parliament to check what hearings are taking place at the EP. Posters are hanging on several walls indicating which hearing is taking place where. While you should already know this by looking at the websites of the political parties, my experience is that in general hearings are very poorly communicated, so nothing beats actually going to the EP to look at the poster (provided you have an entrance badge). At the end of the week (I always do this on Fridays) you should take a look ahead at the coming week. Especially look at plenary and Committee Agenda's. This is also a great moment to look at the agenda of the national parliament, as you can't totally ignore the national dimension.

If you want to makes sure you are involved at the very beginning of a policy process you should pay attention to green papers, white papers, consultations or other discussions that are taking place. These normally hint at serious EU activity on a subject in the future. Apart from these there is no substituting the periodical coffee or lunch with a European Commission civil servant. You can find their names and telephone numbers at European Commission the directory. The same goes for parliamentary assistants, political advisors of the parties and committee secretariats.

On a more strategic level there are a couple moments in the year which deserve your special attention. The European Commission publishes it's working program in November. This should be analyzed thoroughly (especially the Annexes). The same goes for the program of the Council Presidency, which is published right before a presidency starts. Don't only look at the priorities, also look at the various (informal) meetings which are going to take place during the presidency. Finally, the European Union has a EU Calender, where more relevant dates for the whole year can be found. I suggest to make every month a quarter forecast of the EU Calendar.

Here are all the link's again



Monthly / Periodically
EU Calender


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