How can amendments be judged in a neutral and objective way?

When we started our analysis of more than 3.100 amendments the question occured how to measure countless political decisions in one statistic. There is not a single proper method – so we had to develop one that is as transparent and clear as possible.

We agreed to evaluate every single amendment by it’s own: Does the change lead to stronger or weaker protection of privacy? Most of the changes can be categorized quite easily. If the consequences of an amendment are unclear or if the amendment does not change the level of protection we have marked it as “neutral”. The calculation of the overall impact of an MEP follows a simple formula: If a MEP suggests 45 changes which strengthen privacy and 30 changes that weaken the protection his final balance score will be 15.

Of course this approach also has some weaknesses (see below).

Our rating criteria:

To be absolutely transparent we want to be open about our rules and explain them. Everybody should be able to rate the collected amendments by him- or herself.

Evaluation Procedure

Comparison with documents from Privacy NGOs:

The results from LobbyPlag were again matched with documents from different privacy NGOs. Different results were reexamined another time and checked, but always graded in line with our own set of rules as mentioned above.

Weaknesses of our method:

Of course there are some weaknesses in our method that we want to be frank about: