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Is It Time for Transparency in Spain?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, April 2 2012

Image: h de c / Flickr

The right-leaning government of Spain is working on the creation of a new transparency and information access law, for the first time in the history of the country. In the expectation that Spain will adopt the new law soon, two open government NGOs recently launched a new site, Tuderechoasaber.es (Your Right to Know). The site helps citizens find the right body to address a freedom of information request. Read More

European Parliament does not refer ACTA to Court of Justice, Final Vote Set in June

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, March 28 2012

Yesterday, the European Parliament's International Trade Committee (INTA) voted against the referral of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court in matters of European Union law. The European Commission, the EU's executive body, already indicated it would refer the agreement to the Court a month ago, in order to assess whether ACTA is incompatible with the European Union’s fundamental rights. The commission's referral won't delay the parliament, the EU's legislative body, from voting to ratify the treaty. Read More

Can an Obama-like Campaign Work in France?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, March 21 2012

François Hollande during a public speech. Photo: Parti Socialiste /Flickr

According to a recent survey, 39% of French people say the Internet will play an important role in the electoral campaign. The main opponent to President Sarkozy, the Socialist candidate François Hollande, seems to consider the web as an important battlefield. His digital strategy seems inspired by the 2008 Obama campaign. Will it be enough to generate the same kind of mass participation in online politics in France? Read More

The European Citizens' Initiative: a New Way to Shape up Debates?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Thursday, March 15 2012

The deliver of the Avaaz.org petition against ACTA. Photo European Parliament /Flickr

Starting next April 1st, European citizens will have another tool to be part of a public debate in a more substantial way, thanks to the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), a form of petition that will allow them to propose legislation to the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union. Will it be a new way to shape up political debates in the European Union? Read More

As Public ACTA Debate Begins, Controversy Remains

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, March 5 2012

A March 1 workshop on ACTA held by Parliament's trade committee. Photo: European Parliament

The European conversation over a controversial trade agreement has become laden with "organized misinformation," EU Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht said Saturday. De Gucht's comments come after his attendance at a March 1 workshop hosted by the parliament's trade committee, the primary venue for discussion of ACTA in the EU's popularly elected body. It was an opportunity for opponents of the treaty to weigh in on its provisions. Read More

The French data protection authority says that Google's new policy violates EU data protection law

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, February 29 2012

On Thursday, Google’s new privacy policy will become effective for all users. Its application, though, may turn controversial especially in Europe: the French data protection authority declared that it violates the European Union data protection law. The French organization was asked to conduct the investigation by request of the Article 29 Working Party, a body comprising representatives from the data protection authority of each EU member state, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission. Read More

Amid Protests and a Court Case, ACTA Set to Come Before EU Parliament

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, February 24 2012

Anti-ACTA sign in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Frikjan / Flickr

Next week the European Parliament will start discussing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, a controversial treaty that would set new international standards for dealing with copyright infringements. Next June, the European Parliament will have to vote to ratify or reject the treaty, but what seemed to be little more than a technicality now represents a crucial moment in a public debate on Internet freedom and digital rights. Read More

In France, Tension as Facebook and Twitter Enter Presidential Politics

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, February 21 2012

One of the suspended Sarkozy parody accounts after the reinstatement

The French presidential campaign started last Wednesday night when President Nicolas Sarkozy officially announced his candidacy on the national TV network TF1. But it took less than a week for the campaign to become a heated battle online. Read More

Momentum Builds in Europe Against Controversial Treaty on Copyright, Counterfeiting

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, February 13 2012

Anti-ACTA protest in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo:Stopped / Flickr

Last Saturday, thousands of people rallied all over Europe to protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a controversial treaty that would set new international standards for dealing with copyright infringement and other copyright claims. Read More

The Europe Roundup: Cybercrime in the UK, Ushahidi in Serbia, Big Data in Norway

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, February 10 2012

Photo: Ian Muttoo / Flickr

New anti-cybercrime units in the UK, Ushahidi deployed to track incidents related to severe weather in Greece and Serbia, and a fascinating animation from Norway based on migration data, all in today's roundup of news about technology in politics from around Europe. Read More