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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

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

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

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

First POST: Sarcasm

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 19 2012

In which we catch up how the presidential campaigns are faring, how Governor Sam Brownback has become a source of health-care advice, how you get a message to the attention of the NYPD, the American life of Jason Russell, the phony parts of Mike Daisey, and a moment of zen with Mark Zuckerberg and Shimon Peres. 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

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