Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Back from Brussels – and a new Nosemonkey blog

The Grand Place, Brussels

A delightful time was had by all at last night’s launch debate/party for Tomorrow’s Europe in Brussels – except my feet, which got pounded by the picturesque Brussels cobbles (thanks to be being too cheap to get a taxi) and then soaked by the decidedly less picturesque Brussels rain (for the self-same reason).

An array of intriguing people also met, from high-profile politicos through to the chap behind tip-top French superblog Euros du Village, and in my absence the new project that took me to Belgium has gone live, so go have a look-see:

dLiberation – a Nosemonkey-edited look at deliberative democracy, EU participation, and the future of the European Union, brought to you by openDemocracy.

I’ve got two vaguely introductory posts up so far, which should give you an idea of what we’re hoping to achieve, with many more to follow – from me and a range of experts from academics to MEPs through a few choice Brussels bureaucrats, bloggers and more. Go have a gander:

Introduction to dLiberation

Cloudy skies over tomorrow’s Europe

Next up, later today, will be Professor James Fishkin of Stanford University – the mastermind of Deliberative Polling – explaining the basic thinking behind the methodology of the Tomorrow’s Europe event, around which the blog will be focussing its attention.

I’ve also got a fair few posts lined up looking at the content of last night’s debate, featuring the likes of EU constitution mastermind and former President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, current Italian Interior Minister Giuliano Amato, blogging commissioner Margot Wallström (whom I accosted last night and got an assurance that she’d try to contribute to the dLiberation blog), and the entertaining Danish eurosceptic MEP Jens-Peter Bonde (from whom I also extracted a promise to write for us).

Should be fun – that link again: dLiberation – pop over and help me kick-start a much-needed debate about the role of democracy in the future of the EU. You know you want to…


  1. There is nothing at the top of dLiberation to take you back to the home page if you read “more”. Can that be corrected? And if you go to J Clive Matthew’s blog it only has your posts, not Fishkin’s. Looks good though.

  2. Yep, all kinds of technical hitches need to be worked through – the blogroll is currently also that of Our Kingdom, the main oD blog, and there’s no lonk to the About page. Hopefully we’ll be able to get all this sorted in the next few days – the perils of working with a blog content management system that isn’t Wordpress, Blogger or Typepad, I guess…

    Oh, and I’ve got to finalise the structure for the actual content, of course – I’m going to be very busy emailing people over the next few days. For now, though, I need sleep – ended up getting up at 5:30 Brussels time, so 4:30 UK time. Having got to sleep some time after midnight (following a hefty boozing session and a lift back to the hotel from a group of people who I think were researchers at the European Parliament, but I’m not entirely sure…). I’m absolutely shattered…

  3. While you were over there did you put in a bid for Belgium? It was put up for sale on eBay.

  4. I’d happily have bought the place if I’d known about it. I’d forgotten how good proper Belgian beer could be. Good food and good booze – what more could you want from a country?