How to Find EU Stories

October 4, 2011

Brigitte Alfter, Freelance journalist in Copenhagen since 2008. Before that she was an EU-correspondent for the Danish daily Information for four years. She is cofounder of numerous journalism associations, especially some who deal with transparency in the EU.

The last couple of years she has been working more with in-depth stories that require a lot networking and access to official documents.
In the EU, that access can be found at numerous databases, some of the most important ones, she has listed on the page (Dutch for seeking freedom of information), which Brigitte Alfter is a cofounder of.

On the page:, Brigitte Alfter has added several links to the document databases for the Council, Parliament and Commission.

- The EU commits it’s institutions to release all documents for the public. Of cause while they are all committed to do so, only some are good at it. The Council for instance, does a great job while the Parliament is… complicated, says Brigitte Alfter.

These databases are useful for knowing if, what you are looking for is really there, she explains.

- You can use it so that you know, that the specific document you are searching for is actually there before you start applying for freedom of information, says Brigitte Alfter.

Ditte Lilholm, intern at Danish daily Politiken from February 2010 to August 2011. In the spring 2011 she was a correspondent in Bruxelles. She sends this account of her experience working in Bruxelles:

I would say that the stories in Bruxelles are primarily found out in the real world as apposed on the internet. On the net you might find something that indicates where the story is and then you start working.

The Council’s homepage is a good Place to start is a good list of all the coming Council Assemblies and under each subheading are the agendas and background briefings. It is good material, but the good stories lies in the expected outcome of the assembly, which you get from different representatives – anonymously of cause.

Beside this, I often used EPC – European Policy Center. It is a think tank, who has a good grasp on the economy and by the way has a Danish director. They make some solid analysis, you can find them here:

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