Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Start updating, Jacques Barrot! (JHA)

The Commissioner in charge is Jacques Barrot: Welcome to the European Union’s area of freedom security and justice …


I was looking for information about the European Commission’s Justice and Home Affairs. What did I find? Or perhaps I should rephrase: What did I not find on the web pages of Barrot’s services?

The answer to the first question is: Almost no updated information.

The answer to the second question is: Antiquated information about one of the most rapidly evolving policy areas of the European Union.

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General page

The latest update on the introductory page about the area of freedom, security and justice is the third annual report or scoreboard, adopted 2 July 2008.

Newsroom

The so called Newsroom had an item on Europol’s report about the fight against terrorism, from 21 April 2009.

Not bad, being just a week old? But since then, the Commission has communicated on other issues, without updating its Newsroom page.

Documentation centre

Someone looking for reports, Green Papers and proposals would probably go to the Documentation centre. What would he find?

What he finds is the consolidated acquis of the EU under Title IV TEC and Title VI TEU, updated in October 2008.

This is a valuable compilation of information sources, but where are the new proposals and reports?

Funding opportunities

The page on funding opportunities has actually been updated 1 April 2009.

Jacques Barrot

The Commission Vice-President’s own web page contains a greeting and undated wishes for the European elections.

Directorate-General

The web page of Commissioner Barrot’s services, the Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security, is a timeless piece, without any fresh contents.

Relevant web sites

There are links to various external web sites, but no contents on the web page.


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Conclusions

Fresh information should be on offer right where you land, but the main category pages are stale and almost useless if you look for updated information. Even if you start exploring the links, you will find that the JHA D-G seems to have other things on its mind than to inform the public in a timely manner.

I am perplexed. During Franco Frattini’s time, the JHA web pages were updated swiftly, with new documents available and easy to find. Now you get the feeling that you are entering the Kingdom of Sleep. What has happened and why?

The D-G’s web pages are unreliable, because you don’t know how much information is missing. The only useful pages for fresh information seem to be through the link to the latest press releases, but they do not link to the documents in question. You have to search for them separately. This makes the task harder.

To conclude: Stale and useless. A profound change of attitude plus a quick overhaul are in order.


Ralf Grahn