Electronic knowledge exchange network - Hoofdinhoud
Presently in Europe there is limited systematic attention paid to the comparative study of the parliamentary systems of Europe, the study of the organs of the European Union, the integration of European decision-making in the national parliamentary systems and an independent historiography of the European parliamentary system.
This neglect and disregard has a lot to do with information overload, which we are dealing with in today's modern world. There is so much information available that we cannot effectively comprehend its entirety. There is no clear overview of the information, nor are the details always accurate. As a result there is a paradoxical loss of information which affects all levels of society: the citizens, civil servants, politicians and even academic researchers.
This information overload has an impact not only on those carrying out fundamental academic research but in particular for those engaged in applied investigations. The study of bottlenecks in decision-making and other processes and the applicability of best practices is regularly hampered by the lack of proper information or the fact that information is not comparable, difficult to access or out of date. Research in such fields thus often takes unnecessarily long, next to the extra costs and effort involved. Consequently the research results are often not available in time to play a significant role in the decision-making.
Furthermore, researchers often know little or nothing about what their colleagues are doing, which makes it difficult to coordinate activities and to build on one another's results. The Montesquieu Institute sees it as one of its tasks to create a meeting place for researchers in the field of (comparative) parliamentary history and related topics.
In addition, the Montesquieu Institute anticipates a lot from the implementation of the knowledge exchange network, which is based on state-of-the-art web technology designed to:
a.offer researchers a virtual platform for the exchange of ideas that complements the physical meeting place;
b.give an interactive overview of who is doing what and against what background (if desired, selected target groups can receive specific information, e.g. through newsletters);
c.facilitate the joint collection, processing and analysis of data, despite geographical boundaries;
d.permit the joint development of an unambiguous conceptual framework, flexible research formats and appealing examples that other researchers will be inspired to follow;
e.facilitate research with powerful tools allowing rapid consultation, analysis and reporting of data relating to frequently asked research questions;
f.present research results not only to other researchers but also, in a readily accessible format, at the right time and the right place, to decision-makers, the media and other interested parties;
g.provide researchers and other interested parties with the necessary basic information about the key actors (countries, institutions and persons), their characteristics, activities, procedures and rules of operation in an updated, easily accessible format that lends itself to analysis.
While setting up and expanding the network, the Montesquieu Institute is able to profit from the competent knowledge base the PDC has secured, in close cooperation with the Representations of the European Parliament and the European Commission in the Netherlands in presenting information on European affairs to the general public, the media, the world of education and various interest groups via appropriate electronic systems.
Both Representations have stressed their support for the creation of an independent academic institute, as a source for reliable information about European affairs. The Montesquieu Institute anticipates to play a key role by using the knowledge exchange network, promoting cooperation with other research institutes and offering a virtual meeting place for researchers.