In recent years Members of the European Parliament have requested more and more analytical information from the Library of the European Parliament. These information products are published on the EP intranet. Why? Because we primarily support the work of Members and the EP community (EP and political group staff).
Since the development of a New Concept of the EP Library, the Library has started to make its analysis available to the public on the internet, mainly through this blog, and Twitter and Facebook accounts, and shortly Wikipedia. The aim of this presence is to make it easier for Members offices to access the information, and give them the opportunity to re-use Library material on their own websites, as well as to gain credibility within the scientific community following European affairs.
EP Library analyses, even if published on the internet, are prepared on the request of an MEP, with whom our authors have negotiated the content. Library analyses don’t aspire to cover all aspects of the subject treated, but mainly those defined by the requester.
Should this aspect limit the publication of EP Library analyses on the internet? Is opening the EP Library to the general public not contrary to the mission of the Library as a service for Members?
With the agreement and support of EP administrative and political authorities, the answer is “no”.
The presentation of EP Library analyses on the internet is not only useful for Members but for citizens who want to know more about European affairs from a parliamentary perspective. And let’s not forget – we are also keen on obtaining some useful feedback on our work. We strive to improve!
Even though the EP Library publishes its analyses and information, it remains an internal service of the European Parliament, MEPs and staff have access to resources which, for copyright reasons, cannot be extended to the general public. This is why the EP Library needs an efficient intranet site. Citizens cannot request information from the Library, but they can browse the Library website to look for information. They can also send their requests for information to the Institution through a dedicated website CITIZENS’ ENQUIRY SERVICE.
The EP Library blog is only the first step in opening the EP Library to the world. In 2014 the Library should be present on Europarl, the official EP website, with a site which will give citizens better usability and enhanced search facilities.