24-26 January: European Parliament Hackathon 2014

The European Parliament Hackathon — which has the complete title of Europarl Hackathon for the European Elections 2014 — is being held 24-26 January 2014 in Brussels.

The Twitter hashtag for the event is #hackep

Click here for results, archived tweets, a storify, and other resources related to this event.

According to the event’s Website, the event is supported by Citizens for Europe and Knight-Mozilla OpenNews.

Here are excerpts of the description:

[…] We are inviting coders, activists, graphists and journalists to meet in Brussels on 24-26 January 2014 (last weekend of January) to a Hackathon.

During this weekend we are going to work on several projects aiming at better telling the story of the European Parliament. We will create small groups of 2 to 4 people mixing competencies and having them generate a mini-site, and infographics, a chart… whatever they think is the best tool. We have experience participating in similar “sprints”. It’s intense, includes very little sleep and way too much coffee, furious coding and writing, resulting in lots of energy and the pleasure of having built something in a very short amount of time.

We already have half a dozen signed up and we expect to be between 10 and 20. We don’t want to make it too big, as it needs to stay focussed, but pretty sure I’d love to have you joining in.

What are we going to build?

It’s part of the process for the participants to set the agenda, to decide what to do. Therefore we are going to start the weekend with an “open mike” where anyone can suggest ideas of what they would want to focus on. It could be something “generic”, like a nice visual representation of the European Parliament and highlighting which political party and what country is more present on some Parliamentary Committees and Delegations.

It could be something about gender and illustrate that women are less well represented on some topics, or that some countries still have a long way to go to have better gender balance, or see how the average age of the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) has lowered over time. We have activists that want to join and hope to work on their specific topic (LGBT rights and climate change for instance).

For climate change, we already have a list of specific amendements that are key to understand how MEPs will act, and there are high hopes to be able to use the result of this weekend during the campaign for the elections. What we know is that we will put together a great group of talented and motivated people and let them create what they want. We know the results are going to be more interesting than anything we could have planned beforehand.

What data do we have?

Parltrack has the complete list of all the MEPs, their dossiers and vote history.

Stefan Marsiske, co-organiser of the Hackathon, has done an amazing job of developing and maintaining a software that goes daily on every page of the European Parliament to see if there is any new information and extract it. He has millions of records and he shares them under an open data licence, meaning anyone is free to take the data, analyse it and create something new. Part of the aim of our event is to highlight what can be done with this huge amount of open data and encourage others to do the same. Mepwatch has done the same work on written and oral questions. […]

For more details, please see the event’s website.

Click here for other upcoming legal hackathons.

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