Kosmolinks #11

Today’s main topic is of course Kosovo, the World’s Newest Country. DJ Nozem sums it up with a ‘pinch’ of sarcasm: Another Show of Unity

I have been looking at some EU news services lately and as a result I created a EU universe (www.netvibes.com/eu) which brings together most of the available official EU – RSS feeds. So please tell me what you think about it! Although there are numerous (but quite hidden!) feeds on the europa.eu page, I still wonder whether the Commission has realised its potential here. Most of the times, traditional press releases are put into the feeds. But RSS could be used to track policy proposals within the Commission (green paper- consultation-white paper). Anyway, I will cover this topic more extensively in another post later this week!

Now there is also a social bookmarking service for EU related news and blogs: Eurovalley, give it a try, of course everything is still in beta! eufeeds has a collection of over 300 newspapers and it is updated every 20 minutes: interesting idea but unfortunately there seems to be no easy option to export an individual feed or a selection of feeds. Have you ever heard of the Europe Media Monitor? It seems to be one of these hidden Commission projects but I must say it looks quite promising especially when you need to monitor EU news.

So lets turn to our “favourite” treaty….Nicolas Whyte writes about the Lisbon Treaty here and the ISN wonders whether the Lisbon treaty makes the ESDP more Coherent and Capable? Stanley’s blog asks: EU Foreign Ministers: an endangered species?

Two interesting articles regarding EU funds and budget: Fraud and responsibility for EU funds on Jan’s EUblog and EuropesWorld: Why the EU may never get its accounts straight

What is a “Societas Europaea (SE)” ? It took the EU 30 years to decide on it…and now, there are only around 150 SE in total (EU-wide). But things might improve as local businesses becoming more ‘European’, well at least in the Czech Republic.

Richard Lewis blogs about Frattini’s proposals regarding tougher EU immigration rules. America plays divide and rule is a fascinating article on a diplomatic fight. And the “quote of the month” award goes to Jonathan Faull, a European Commission director general:

“We don’t negotiate matters that are dealt with in Washington with the state of California. That would be disrespectful and we expect the United States to be similarly respectful of our law and system.”

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5 responses to “Kosmolinks #11

  1. Congratulations, both technical novelties and substance of interest.

  2. Congratulations on the EU Universe. I’ve long thought that someone else would do a better job of giving EUROPA a top layer than the Commission itself, and it looks like you’ve taken pole position.

    It still uses only what’s available on EUROPA, however, which will never be enough. Any thoughts on pulling in other site content to help people understand what the EU actually does – and why – in any given thematic area?

  3. You missed the very first RSS feed (customisable to XML if you want) the Commission ever did – see http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/help/services/index_en.htm

    Both are generated by a ‘thematic portal’ newsroom that includes news, events, funding opps, etc. from multiple DGs (Information Society, Enterprise, etc.), so you’ll find a lot more than Commission press releases. I know about it because I led the team that created the app! Another 5 DGs use it now, so the day approaches when the Commission starts using RSS properly. 😉

  4. Thanks a lot, Mathew Lowry and Ralf Grahn for your encouraging comments. At the moment this is only an experiment and also the structure will certainly change.

    The problem of getting people to “understand” the EU is of course rather complex. But, to put it very general, new media and internet technology could help in the whole process. So it is great to hear that the Commission is working on it, also regarding its new internet strategy. Another promising idea is for example the “E-committee project” that tries to encourage citizen to participate online in a EP Committee… The EPP – “Dialogue TV” and the online “PES manifesto consultations” are also interesting attempts to get people more interested and involved at the political level.

    Of course the problem has some deeper roots because at the end of the day only specialists or journalists are going to read thematic RSS feeds… So the real challenge is to include the EU basics in school curricula and maybe train local journalists better…but that might be a topic for another debate 😉

    Mathew, thanks a lot for this “new” (at least for me) feed, I was really not aware of the whole portal… but it does look great, well done 😉 I included it already in the universe. However, at the moment it sill looks a bit messy, so I guess I have to think of a better structure….Do you actually get any “extra” content by signing up to the portal or does it only give you the possibility to “mix” the content? The idea of signing up seems a bit strange to me and might put people off using it…?

  5. Sorry for the massively late reply. I noticed you took the feeds quite a while back, and regularly show your universe to other people to show what mashups can do, but somehow never got around to coming back here.

    In answer to your question, registering to the portal brings access to a lot of services (one stop shop to all enewsletters hosted on it, registering to events, journalist services, etc.) as well as access to a service where you can customise a Newsroom RSS feed – asking for just news and funding opportunities relevant to one or two particular themes, for example. But it doesn’t give you access to any extra content, not already online.

    Of course, there are also loads of auto-generated Newsroom feeds, which you’ve taken, and noone needs to register to get them! However, when we started, we were the first people in the EC to syndicate content, and it took around SIX MONTHS to get the EC’s internal legal services to approve the terms and conditions for the sign-up service. This was considered necessary because the powers that be were worried that EC content would appear somehow on inappropriate sites, and wanted the ability to ‘turn off the tap’.

    Change takes time …