Monday 26 April 2010

Visualising EU decision-making: Council Regulation 1224/2009

Blogging about EU affairs has to move forward, and what I have realised is that one path to make it more attractive could be visualisation.

I have tried to start this yesterday in the overly long blog post on the decision-making process on Council Regulation 1224/2009 regarding the supervision of the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU.

If you have made your way until the end of that post you have discovered the following map:

On this map I have geo-located the amendments filed by different member states in the course of the decision-making process together with a link to the fish subsidies each country receives.

But I wasn't satisfied with the length and the visual appearance of the blog post, and so I continued searching for a tool to help me out.

Today I found what I was looking for: Xtimeline, a free tool to create timelines that you can embed in blog posts.

So look how the decision-making process on regulation 1224/2009 looks on a timeline (Remark: doesn't seem to be very stable, so if you don't see anything below it is because of their server. Try this link to see the timeline on their webpage.):

You can click on every event where I have linked the relevant document(s) connected to that event. It doesn't tell you the whole story, but it is an easy way to navigate in time and to find certain documents. But you can add a description to each event and thereby give more details to the story you are telling.

The good thing is - and I haven't experimented with this tool so far - that you can upload timelines via RSS feeds or CSV files, which could make it easy to quickly create timelines and to visualise data that wasn't easy to visualise before.

And with this kind of visualisation we could get to a new level of EU story-telling, maybe attracting new attentions to complex processes that were hard to follow in the past.


Unknown said...

Amazing Julien! Love new innovative approaches to explaining EU's decision-making.

James Stevens said...


Cool stuff my friend. Most interesting.


Julien Frisch said...

@ Mia & Steve

Thanks for your comments and your RTs! :-)

The "re:publica 10" conference in Berlin was extremely inspiring in this regard and hope that this is just the beginning.

Unknown said...

You should pitch this idea to Wirek UK (the magazine), they do wonders with data visualisation.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea. Much better and more user friendly than OEIL, Pre-Lex or any other 'official' legislative observatory.

Max Steinbeis said...

Hallo Julien, entschuldige, dass ich mich erst jetzt melde. Embed-bare Visualisierungstools - da bin ich jetzt nicht der Spezialist, aber kennst Du Das ist auf jeden Fall ziemlich cool. kannte ich noch nicht, superinteressant.

Gruß, Max

Julien Frisch said...

Hi Max,

thanks for the tip with, that looks really promising, too!