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Catching Up With Personal Democracy Forum Brussels 2012

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, June 1 2012

PDF Europe editor Antonella Napolitano writes: "Our first conference took place yesterday at the Brussels Press Club and featured MEPs, journalists, EU communications officials, diplomats, bloggers. If you could not attend, you can catch up thanks to this Storify created by Aurélie Valtat." Read More

Twitter Hires a Director of Public Policy for Europe

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 29 2012

Twitter has hired Sinéad McSweeney, director of communications for Garda Síochána, Ireland's national police service, as its director of public policy for Europe, according to Twitter's government account. McSweeney previously worked in the same role for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and also served as special adviser to two attorneys general, David Byrne and Michael McDowell. She will be based in the company's office in Dublin. Read More

WeGov

[OP-ED]: My Government's Commitment to the Surveillance State – the UK Queen's Speech

BY Jon Worth | Monday, May 14 2012

Jon Worth argues that the Queen's Speech, delivered last week, presages a return to the "Big Brother" state in the UK. Read More

[OP-ED]: In France, Still Waiting for the Internet Election

BY Federica Cocco | Friday, May 11 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy is not the only politician to have lauded Obama’s 2008 campaign. Many European campaigns were running slogans that echoed the “Yes, we can!” refrain.

The gimmicky rhetoric failed to persuade their electorate and, when push came to shove, pretty much the whole old continent has effectively failed to heed Obama’s campaign strategy. Mainstream parties didn’t carry out grassroots mobilization and fundraising in earnest. A top-down approach persisted.

Read More

WeGov

How the German Pirate Party's "Liquid Democracy" Works

BY David Meyer | Monday, May 7 2012

In the midst of the political upheaval affecting Europe, a relatively new movement is making stunning progress, particularly in Germany. On Sunday, the Pirate Party entered its third German state parliament in eight months, demonstrating momentum that surprises even its core members. The party is now on track to pick up a double-digit percentage of the vote in next year's federal elections. And it's dealing with this explosive growth through the medium it knows best: technology. Read More

Announcing PdF Brussels, May 31st!

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, May 7 2012

This month, PDF finally comes to Brussels! Over the years, we have covered many issues related to techpolitics within the EU institutions. So, for us, it just felt natural to organize a PDF event in Brussels, where most of these decisions are made. The next European elections are less than two years away; the economic crisis has left many countries across the continent in a similar situation; unemployment is rising, political extremism is rising, digital media is the norm: is a European public sphere also being formed online? Read More

Still a Long Way to Go for Spain's First Transparency Law

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, April 23 2012

Helen Darbishire presents the Access Info and Avaaz petition. Photo by Tuderechoasaber

Last Wednesday, the Spanish government presented a draft freedom of information law at the Open Government Partnership conference in Brasilia, but faced strong criticism coming from civil society and NGOs. For the first time in Spain, the law will create specific rules for information access and transparency. Activists, though, argue that the draft is not strong enough and does not meet international standards, as it fails to recognize access as a fundamental right and gives a restrictive definition of the information that can be accessed. Read More

ACTA Rapporteur Says He'll Recommend Against the Treaty

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, April 17 2012

MEP David Martin during a debate on ACTA. Photo by European Parliament

British MEP David Martin, responsible for providing guidance to European Parliament on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, will recommend the rejection of the treaty, he announced on April 12. Martin will submit his final report to the International Trade Committee, the main parliamentary committee involved in the ACTA debate, later this month. Read More

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