Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The EU Council: Meetings. Meetings. Meetings. And how to find related documents.

While traditional media - if at all - will only report on the Council of the European Union when it gets together on the ministerial level, there are hundreds of working level meetings between diplomats and national or international experts.

If you want to keep track of what is going on, you can use the Council Calendar that provides an overview over all (?) meetings. And if you need the agenda for a particular meeting, you can try to find it here.

It is more difficult to get the working documents for a particular meeting; and if you find them, they are quite often not public.

But you can still try: Open the agenda of a meeting you are interested in, copy the document number of a document you would like to see (you find them below the agenda items; just take the fist one in the format "11111/09") and go to the simple search. Search for the number under "Words in the text", and sometimes you'll be lucky to find it or at least get another related document.

If in the end you don't get what you want, try to contact the Public Information Service, which is inviting you to do so in a recently published article!

Still, the presentation of the meetings and agendas is very confusing for anyone who is not an expert in these issues - and as so often before I can only encourage the Council to restructure its website!

PS.: If anyone has better hints, I'd be glad to hear about your own strategies!

Read also my article on the search for Commission meeting agendas.


eulogist said...

My suggestion is to use the current Council Presidency website instead (i.e. right now: www.eu2009.se). They tend to better up-to-date than the Council's own...