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Open Interests Europe Hackathon – London, 24-25 November

guest post by Liliana Bounegru, European Journalism Centre

The European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation invite you to the Open Interests Europe Hackathon to track the interests and money flows which shape European policy.

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When: 24-25 November 2012
Where: Google Campus Cafe, 4-5 Bonhill Street, EC2A 4BX London

How EU money is spent is an issue that concerns everyone who pays taxes to the EU. As the influence of Brussels lobbyists grows, it is increasingly important to draw the connections between lobbying, policy-making and funding. Journalists and activists need browsable databases, tools and platforms to investigate lobbyists’ influence and where the money goes in the EU. Join us and help build these tools!

Open Interests Europe brings together developers, designers, activists, journalists and other geeks for two days of collaboration, learning, fun, intense hacking and app building.

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The Lobby Transparency Challenge

Within any political process there are many interests wanting to be heard – companies, trade unions, NGOs – and Brussels is no exception. Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe and LobbyControl have begun to data-mine thelobby registers of the European Commission and of the European Parliament to find out who the lobbyists are, what they want and how much they are investing. You will have the exclusive opportunity to work with this data before it is made public in their upcoming portal. What can you do with this data?

Group leader: Erik Wesselius is one of the co-founders of Corporate Europe Observatory. In the past few years, Erik has focused on issues related to lobbying transparency and regulation as well as EU economic governance. In 2005, Erik was active in the Dutch campaign for a “No” against the EU Constitution.

The Fish Subsidies Challenge

Subsidies paid to owners of fishing vessels and others working in the fishing industry under the European Union’s common fisheries policy amount to approximately €1 billion a year. EU Transparency gathered detailed data relating to payments and recipients of fisheries subsidies in every EU member state from multiple sources, from European Commission databases to member state government databases and inter-governmental fishery organizations such as ICCAT. What can you do with this data?

Group leader: Jack Thurston is policy analyst, activist, writer and broadcaster. He is co-founder of FarmSubsidy.org, winner of a Freedom of Information Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Prizes and Jury

All participants will get the satisfaction of contributing to a cause that affects us all! Not only that, the winning team will be awarded a 100 EUR Amazon voucher, pre-ordered copies of the movieThe Brus$els Business – Who Runs the European Union? (to be released this autumn) and copies of The Data Journalism Handbook.

The Jury members are Rufus Pollock, co-Founder and Director of the Open Knowledge Foundation and Alastair Dant, Lead Interactive Technologist for the Guardian.

For more details please visit the event’s webpage. You can register for the event at Eventbrite by 15 November. If you have any questions or want to submit a challenge around these topics please contact: sprints [at] okfn.org.