Session at #32c3: Session on failures in EU and how to #unfail them

The same way we don’t want our technical infrastructures to be broken, we don’t want our political infrastructures to be broken.

  1. Privacy protections weakened: instead of safeguarding European citizens privacy, Germany leading efforts in . EU parliamentarians happily copy pasting from

  2. Eu migration policy: Instead of finding long term solutions for how to address migration crises increasingly draconian

  3. Mass surveillance

  4. Oettingar

Sources of \#EU \#fails

  1. Bad architecture aka EU institutions: No Trias Politica
  • EU parliament cannot initiate legislation
  • Citizens have limited access to court of justice
  • Council of ministers instead of Council o Parliaments
  • Members of commission or council cannot be sent home
  • We cannot have more democratic EU without member sate governments ceding power to either national parliaments or the EU parliament
  • Failure of the 4th estate:
    • BXl coverage by national media after the fact
    • Too few civil servants (way less than typical member of state governments)
    • Little presence of national media in BXL
    • Everything in BXl seems designed to bore to death
      • #unfail: You need drama to get media invloved e.g, commisioners an be sent home
  • Many tech community has little understanding of how eu works. 
    • #unFail: Run diagnostics and repair 
    • #Unfail: more power to EU parliament. We need some constitutional crisis or revolt by EU parliament. 
    • #unfail: support the EU parliament as the only institution that represents our interests in the EU. Fix low voter turnout
  1. Bug in the OS aka legislative processes
  • #fail: what should happen (get visualisation from Walter). What does happen: Trilogues. EC can meet after in secret trilogue meetings, no rules, no minutes, new texts negotiated.
  • #fail: secret negotiations. E.g. trade agreements TTIP negotiated in secrecy.
  • #unfail: Send in requests for documents request via, or the European Ombudsman
  • #unfail: Use cool tools like Parltrack to keep track of dossiers
  1. Bad RAM: lack of institutional memory
  • #unFail: Keeping track of, and Visualising, previous versions of bad proposals and why they were thrown out. See Accessnow & EDRI poster on Surveillance in the EU: How EU repeats same mistake
  • #unfail: we need to be the institutional memory of the EU parliamentarians.
  • #unfail: we need more human resources, more civil rights actors to be active in EU to protect your digital rights (total in EU is 50!).
  1. Bad devices: lobbyists
  • Examples of attempts by lobbyists to frame Hyperlinks pointing to possible copyright infringement, as copyright infringements themselves
  • Example of attempts by lobbyists to frame anonymity as slavery: See video by advertising industry.  ( search for:EU datap video slavery)
  1. DOS attacks
  • Internet 

What can you do: "We need to be the memory of policy-makers"

  1. Be civil, even when angry. Calling people sellouts, or corporate stooges, is not very helpful in getting people to change their minds.

  2. Get informed: If the media are failing us, we can bypass the media. We’re from the internet, and the internet is about bypassing gatekeepers.

  3. Second stage: Contact your MEPs. Ask your MEPS about relevant dossiers. Write and maintain the code that helps others: ParlTrack, Memopol,  Pippi longstrings).


How do we mobilise more people and convince politicians?

  • Follow the three steps. talk to people who are not just your FB.

Seems to cover a lot!

…unfail Brussels boredom with drama. LOL.

I’m looking for the recording of this session online so we can fill in the gaps. Seems like Walter and Kirsten are very thorough in listing EU fails :slight_smile: Maybe we can turn this into a short intro for LOTE5? Looking forward to meet them in Brussels.

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yes I think we would need a talk-workshop combo for this

It was interesting hearing about the issues/problems in a structured way. It was the first time they did this talk, and I think there was a lot of helpful feedback. Rather than re-do it.

Perhaps Kirsten and Walter could each post a short introduction to themselves and why/how they ended up doing the work they are doing, embed the video, and invite people to share reflections before LOTE5.

That way they could have an area they could zoom into as a starting point for deeper discussion/learning by doing in their session (with support from others in the community). What do you think?