This is what you get when searching JURI Documents

Since more than a decade all important bodies of national states as well as of the European Union do have a website of their own. This is partially welcomed by broad circles of clerks as well as of politicians because of such website can well be utilised as a showcase for press releases and other advertising-style material. On the other hand, such technical means can as well be used to facilitate the inspection of internal documents by the general public, and this is something not everyone likes because of sharing internal documents in many cases also means sharing some of the power conferred by the office.

Not long ago I posted an article based on certain documents of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament. Since then, obviously a relaunch of the entire website of the European Parliament has happened. Guess what now works and what not:

  • Press releases and video clips are available and appear to be working.
  • If you go and visit the JURI webpage you can see a link “Documents Search”. However, if you dare to click it, you’ll end up on an 404 Error page saying

Welcome to the European Parliaments website.
The Internet address (url) you wanted to consult does not exist.
You will be automatically redirected to our home page.

Ok, maybe some glitch has happened during transition to the new website design.  Let us call the webmaster and let him or her know the trouble so that he or she can fix it. There is a link labelled “Contact”, and via an intermediate page you are told to be guided to a mail form for communication with the site’s webmaster. However, the respective link

is as dead as mud.  My conclusion: They are not really interested in getting such sort of feedback; otherwise they would have tested it more thoroughly. In the effect, I am unable to have access to JURI’s documents anymore, and moreover, the standard mechanisms to communicate such sort of problems to the webmaster are broken, too.

Not that this list of problems is complete; for example, the links to MEPs profile pages included in my earlier posting are now broken, too.

It appears to be hardly possible to state more poignant that within the administration of the European Parliament the attention is focussed on web features suitable to disseminate material like press releases from the Committees to the general public but they are not very much in a hurry to re-establish technical systems with the help of which citizens can analyse the internal workings of the bureaucratic machinery by inspecting internal documents which are not confidential and which ought to be accessible right here and now.

About The Author

Axel H. Horns

German & European Patent, Trade Mark & Design Attorney

4 Responses to EuroParl Website Relaunch: How to Disconnect General Public From Relevant Information

  1. Ron says:

    I suppose that’s just post-relaunch problems, although this is not a perfect situation indeed. Let’s hope they’ll get it fixed soon…

  2. Thibault says:


    I’m one of the editorial co-ordinators for the EP Website. You’re right: the major relaunch of the website didn’t happen without some bugs and glitches. All our teams are busy in listing and fixing what worked very well on the previous version, still worked during our tests and obviously doesn’t now.

    The Contact the webmaster page is now working (no need for you to write to them, I reported the issues you mention in your post). So do the MEPs profiles pages.

    The documents’ search for each Committee is currently being worked on and we hope it will be back soon. I noticed all the documents you mentionned in your post about JURI are accessible (what doesn’t work is the mechanism of search, not the access to the documents).

    We are indeed interested in receiving all feedbacks about the new version and are sorry for the inconvenience the relaunch may have caused.

    Best regards,

    • @Thibault


      Thank you for your comment, it is great to see that someone is listening who is responsible for the site. Of course, glitches will happen in large projects, and now I am very confident that current problems will be solved.

      Best regards,

      Axel H. Horns

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