Sunday, June 06, 2004

The missing link

To the Sunday Telegraph readers who have visited this site today as a result of reading the Booker column, welcome! And welcome to all other readers past and present too.

For those who have joined the site to find the Commission report on "Building a political Europe", I have put a link on the sidebar to the left, under the heading "EU documents". Click on the entry underneath and it will take you straight to the report. It may take a while to load as it is 112 pages long in pdf format.

The story behind the link, as recounted by Booker, is an interesting one. As a Commission report, actually addressed to Mr Prodi, it should have been on the official Commission web site, www.europa.eu.int. However, it did not show up on the search engine attached to the site, which made finding it a little laborious.

Eventually, I saw a reference to it in the Euractiv website, and followed the link. This took me to the Secretary General's page, with a link to the president's page. I followed that and there indeed was a further link to the Strauss-Kahn report, but only in French.

At this point I gave up and went to the tried and trusted Google search engine. This did point up the report, available on the site of the EU delegation to Australia and New Zealand. There it was on the front page of the site, clearly marked. This was the original link we provided on this Blog.

Subsequently, I revisited the europa site and this time clicked the report download icon, to see the French version. This actually led me to a page, in French, about the report. On this there were two more download icons, one for a French version and, hey presto, one for the same report in English. This is the link I have now provided.

Clearly, the Commission has not made it easy to get this report, and you can see why when you read it. We have also published some analyses of it on this Blog. The links to our reports are below.

Political Europe – the next step click here.
Managing the media click here.
Towards budgetary federalism click here.
Could it be something in the water? click here.

When or if we have a referendum on whether to adopt the constitution, this report will be a powerful weapon. It holds that the constitution is not the end of the process of political integration, but the start. This makes it all the more important that the constitution is stopped. How ironic that the Commission, albeit reluctantly, is providing us with the weapons.

Footnote: Apparently, we were by no means the only ones who had difficulty finding this report. For the story of another researcher's endeavours, click here.

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