It is important to make Members of Parliament understand that their expressions of concern, however time consuming or repetitive, are not "spam". They are not unsolicited email because you are elected representatives that they have a concern to express to.

I am not sure how ever that relates to his age (or, I am precisely sure how this is meant, and I do not agree).


I reckon we're talking about this, yes?

To be fair to the older gentleman, I understood him to be referring to 600 copies of the same template email, which I agree does not help at all.

As I understand, the commission (or at least #EASA) have a system that automatically detects and deduplicates entries in their #NPA (notice of proposed amendment) tool. Perhaps that could be put to use elsewhere.

OTOH, it'd be good if #MEP would at least acknowledge emails.

We're going to have to give credit also to that gent (who was he, anyway?) for, I assume, personally checking his parliamentary email. Either I or my colleagues have written to dozens of #MEP over the years, usually with technical points concerning industry legislation or asking them to put questions to the commission. As far as I know, only two of them ever replied. We have since resorted to approaching them via the old boys network, which works but is not very democratic at all. 😕

@0 ok, first things first, he’s Antonius Manders with EPP (there’s a seating map and I saw the number of the lady behind him and looked his name up: )
NPA sounds interesting, but it is of course also a right of people to organise in huge numbers and show that through many emails. …

@0 … And it cannot be expected of everyone to have the time to dive deep into political subjects and then write an own essay to send to an MEP – given that, as you say, most would just ignore it, too. (Which by the way is sometimes a mere result of separation of duties. We can’t reply to every email on subject that we don’t work on, if you could also just have looked up who works on it.)

@0 Generally, some MEPs don’t look into their own email because they are many. We usually separate the task of sifting through them among the assistants, and highlight what’s important to the MEP. If you don’t get a reply, it’s usually good to give a quick call during office hours (most work until six) to say that you wrote an email and kindly ask if they had time to read it, or offer to resend it. I understand that’s also something that not everyone can afford to do.

@0 during copyright, I heard for the first time that some people requested the IT people to start classifying copies of the same email as “spam”. For a tech person, that means unsolicited email, scams, etc. We get that, too. However unsolicited is something that’s not a political plea. Whatever’s a general political topic is of course solicited - because they’re elected representatives. And even if some might consider something spam, others might take it for what it is: …

@0 … one of the only ways of giving feedback to the politicians.
Now it’s also important to see that some just say “spam” for mass email, and while of course you may want to filter it, the IT systems should need to remain neutral and not pejoratively filter out what *some* might consider unsolicited, and others don’t. As Marcel Kolaja said: you’re free to install filters on your mail box. (Parliament IT runs MS Exchange and it’s a pain but it can do some filtering.)

Thanks for the insight. Following up with a call is a great idea too.

I do remain deeply unconvinced about the value of those mass #email campaigns. A citizen cares just enough about the issue, in the way that it's been presented to him by an interested party (usually in a one-sided exposition) to do a copy & paste. That's very cheap to them but ties up expensive public resources at the other end dealing with the equivalent of forum “me too”s.

Add to this the fact that, as you say, people tend to write to their “local” #MEP rather than one who actually deals with the relevant matters, not realising how the EP system works.

OTOH, I cringed a bit when I saw all the other MEPs cheer Mr Manders. The way that came across was “yeah we don't want to hear from the plebes”.

In short, there must be a not too expensive solution that tells you “you got X hundred copies of this email, which originates from Y”. Strike a balance and so.

@0 hm but there’s value in mass protest. A system that only displays a number eliminates precisely what we witnessed: the emails are a hassle that the MEPs need to deal with.
And again, I don’t believe we can expect everyone to get very involved with all issues. It is okay to have a superficial opinion, because we cannot expect everyone to dive deep into issues.
The issue with writing to local MEPs differs in political cultures from country to country, but you have a point!


Personally, I remain unconvinced. It is a legitimate form of mass protest indeed, but one that is all too easily (and cheaply) manipulable so of very relative value.

OTOH, mine is just another point of view amongst many and yes, trying to go down the “IT solution to not really an IT problem” path here might not be the most advisable.


> Parliament IT runs #MS #Exchange

Taking digital sovereignty seriously, I see. 🙂

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