Grants:IEG/Roadmap to Brussels

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Roadmap to Brussels

project contact:



Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov


Create the infrastructure necessary to monitor EU policy and legislation procedures in a "wiki" way.

strategic priority:

Stabilising Infrastructure, Increasing Participation

total amount requested:

7942.81 USD

2013 round 1

Project idea[edit]

This project will aim to build and create the infrastructure necessary to monitor EU policy proceedings and initiatives, inform the participant chapters and community in an understandable way, stage discussions about what is desirable or dangerous. It is to be seen as a feasibility study for the wider EU Policy project and wants to undertake the first steps in helping community and European chapters to "increase capacity to safeguard the movement's reputation and support the advancement of legal conditions that enable unimpeded access to information online", one of the 2015 goals in the strategic plan of the Wikimedia movement.

Project goals[edit]

As observed at several Wikimanias (Haifa 2011 and Washington DC 2012), said in speaches, celebrated on our blogs and mailing lists and inscribed in our strategic plan, there is and underlying consensus that the movement needs a process to monitor and analyse the legislative changes most relevant to our work.

Yet it is unclear and heavily debated how and what should be done, both on the monitoring and on the representative side. Most European chapters are politically active, formally or informally, some even have WMF funded projects dealing with political representation.

Hence this project has two top priorities.

1.Lead by doing. Currently the European Union institutions are working on two legislative reform project directly concerning our projects and our work. The copyright reform is in the Commission, where a year-long stakeholder dialogue is taking place to produce a concrete legislation proposal to the Palriament. The second legislative process is the data protection legislation currently being discussed in the Parliament and later this year entering the Council.
This gives us the opportunity to kick off our policy monitoring efforts o very relevant (the right to be forgotten and protability of freedom of panorama are among the discussed points in the above mentioned reform plans) topic and on legislation that directly invluences us.
Monitor, describe, digest, analyse and map the different proposals and positions and inform the community and the chapters about the goings-on and possible risks and traps.

2.Find organisational and technological solutions The problem of stemming such a project is twofold - the diversity and decentralised structure of the Wikimedia movement and the decentralised structure of the European Union (where 27 member states and 3 EU level institutions create new legislation). Questions arising are: Who should be running it - WMF, the European chapters, a user group? How can the community be innvolved? Can volunteers monitor position papers and ammendments? What is the best technological way to connect all the interested parties? Are there risks? Should we also have positions on topics that concern us? Who should be responsible? Should it be professionalised or remain volunteer driven?
These questions will require a combination of practical doing, logical thinking and long-term discussions within the movement to be answered. This project wants to analyse the implications for the movement, organise online and offline discussions and meetings and by its end produce a feasibility/necessity/costs/risks study that describe what can, should or better not be undertaken.

Part 2: The Project Plan[edit]

Project plan[edit]


Scope and activities[edit]

*Monitor: Monitor the EU legislative procedures in the two currently relevant policy areas. This includes attending information events, panels and discussion rounds at the EU institutions, following the proposed laws and their ammendments, map the positions of all actors (parties, groups, companies, NGOs and individuals).

*Analyse: Legislative procedures are tedious, vast and convulted. It is a full time job and requires a lot of time and expertise to go through several hundred pages of legislative text and explain it in a few sentences. This is the kind of taks our chapters and communtiy don't currently have the the resrouces to accomplish. Writing understandable explanations and consulting experts on relevant topics and issuas to better explain the procedures and positions is therefore a major task of this project.

*Inform The gathered, summarised, explained and enriched with background information material will be presented to the European chapters and the movement in form of biweekly or monthly digests, reports of events, relevant actors' position mapping efforts and summarisation of thrid-party reports and studies.

*Organise All this groundwork will be used to involve interested Wikimedians in the project to discuss the current legislation processes and this project and its future at-large. For this sake it is foreseen to initiate mailing list discussions, on-wiki debates, online meeting and a real-life meet-up/conference. It is also planned to present this initiative at the annual Wikimania on Hong Kong. (NB: The conference and Wikimania presentation are subject to financing efforts not part of this grant application.)

*Contact Reaching out to like-minded communities like Creative Commons or the Open Knowledge Foundation and learning what they are doing and intend to do.

*Create technological basis Apart from creating monitoring reports and information material this project will attempt to come up with the technological means necessary to involve the community and the chapters in policy monitoring, to stage discussions and to give a home to policy related issues. These could mailing lists, wikis, meta pages, etherpads and all other sorts of collaborative and open-source software.

*Write a feasibility study It is very unclear as to how we are to achieve our strategic goal to "support the advancement of legal positions" that help us achieve our mission and vision. As the community itself the approaches to this issues vary from keeping it ona purely volunteer level to professionalising it. From having it run a by a small user group to founding an association of European chapters. Some chapters and communities are watching from the sidelines while others have already allocated time and money to such efforts. How do we come up with and take a stand? It seem like good, scientific analytical report including the way Brussels politics works, describing the field, the different Wikimedia currents and the comparing possible organisational solutions is the way to go.

Tools, technologies, and techniques[edit]

Possibly a wiki and a mailing list. If the project remains on meta I would need some extensions.


Total amount requested[edit]

EUR 5957.7 or USD 7942.81

Budget breakdown[edit]

Since the project requries physical presence in Brussels to attend parliamentary hearings, discussion panels and stakeholder dialogues a considerable part of the budget is to cover these expenses (July-December or August-January depending on the schedule of the EU institutions).

Item Cost in Euro Remarks
Housing 2100 6*350 price quotes
Communication 90 6*15 price quote
Transportation 383.2 6*47.5 price quote
Cost of Living 3000 6*500 prices overview
Stationary 100
Budget buffer 284.5 5% of total amount due to possible price fluctuations.
Total 5957.7 Unspent/saved resources will first return to this grant's budget, then to WM FDC budget.

Intended impact:[edit]

Target audience[edit]

  • The European Wikimedia chapters
  • The Wikimedia Foundation
  • The Wikimedia Movement and especially interested volunteers
  • The World, since all the document analysis (e.g law proposals and their summaries) will be published on-wiki.

Fit with strategy[edit]

  • Stabilising Infrastructure:

Expand public awareness and support for the Wikimedia movement.
 Increase capacity to safeguard the movement's reputation and support the advancement of legal conditions that enable unimpeded access to information online, worldwide.

  • Increasing Participation:

Involving new groups of volunteers in this mostly overlooked strategic goal of our movement.


The goal of this project is find a solution of how to tackle the "Stabilising Infrastructure" goal (see above). It will aim to either come up with a platform that gives volunteers the option to carry on or be the basis for a inter-chapters coopeartion to proceed with the taks. Perfectly it will be a combinaiton of both.

Measures of success[edit]

This project shall be deemed succesful:

  • If after the 6 months a permanent structure is established to monitor legislative ongoings it.
  • If we have a technological platform for such questions that is frequented by the communitiy and attracts volunteers.
  • If we have clarity about where we are standig (different positions within the movement) and what is to be avoided or worked towards.


Dimi_z: MA in Political Science from the University of Vienna. Member of Wikimedia Austria. Currently working on founding Wikimedia Belgium and on the EU Policy project. In his non-wiki time he's a trainee at the office of the European Association of Communication Agencies in Brussels. Mainly contributes to the Bulgarian Wikipedia and translates on Meta. Works in Bulgarian, English, German and French on a daily basis. Loves coffee but should reduce daily dosis.

Part 3: Community Discussion[edit]


Community Notification:[edit]

If project is eligible the discussion will be announced on the current meta page and a number of mailing lists (e.g. Advocacy Advisors and European chapters)


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.