About the Site

The 21st Century Competition site has two sections:

  • Commentary: these are posts written by me, ranging from short links to articles to longer analyses of legal issues. Please read the disclaimer. Comments are enabled subject to pre-moderation to avoid spam; my ability to respond to comments is limited – any publication, including a blog comment, requires formal, written, approval of my employer.
    Any images used are either available on Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution License, are in the public domain, or otherwise fall under fair use / fair dealing exceptions to copyright law.
  • Commentary Elsewhere: these are summaries linking to posts elsewhere on the web.  These links do not imply endorsement: some of the posts express opinions with which I completely disagree but express those opinions well and are worth reading.
As an official at the European Commission, there’s a formal approval process that I have to go through whenever I write about something relevant to my daily work (even though I have a strong disclaimer covering what I post here).

I don’t object to this at all; when I ask for approval I get useful comments back that improve my texts. I’m also happy to accept that I have obligations to my employer – any employer – of courtesy and respect in what I write.
However the procedure isn’t quick and there is no de minimis rule. Theoretically even a post that said, “Read this interesting article” requires approval. So to limit the administrative burden for those involved I tend to wait and gather together several posts and submit them as a bundle. Sometimes bundling has efficiency benefits.

This means that I will rarely, if ever, publish something that’s a quick reaction to a recent development. More often, I’ll be publishing comments on developments from weeks or months earlier. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does cut down on spontaneity.

The items I post under “Commentary Elsewhere” are an exception. There, I merely republish summaries and links to articles elsewhere on the web, with no original commentary from me. As there is no original writing, and as I don’t necessarily endorse the views expressed, then I don’t have to go through the formal approvals process.
Happy reading.