The total cost of the project is Euro 275,279, to which the Parliament contributes Euro 206,450. To date, Euro 82,580 has been paid in pre-financing in accordance with the terms of the grant agreement.
Which is all well and good for the Citizalia, and chimes with what they told Jon after he highlighted their work.
But, and here is the rub, another of their claims was as follows,
Current Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and European officials will be on hand to guide you through the procedures and provide background information.Seems to be a little less certain, according to Mr Welle,
DG Communication has contacted the European Services Network to ask for an explanation of the reference to on the web-site to "European Parliament Officials being on hand to guide the citizens through the virtual Parliament" and I will come back to you once this has been clarified.Now, given that the author of this letter is Mr Welle, and he is the boss at the European parliament, he should, one might have thought, be aware if his staff were to be moonlighting as Simocrats. And even more interestingly is the way that the Citizalia team have, at some point recently taken down this claim from their website. Maybe they did so after the Welle minions asked them about it, who knows?
Whatever, it seems pretty clear that they over-egged their pudding, overstated their importance to drum up credibility for their project. Normal behaviour in PR puffs I guess, but surely for any prospective punter the presence of these people, the Parliamentary staff, MEPs and so on is the point. Otherwise the only people wandering round the virtual parliament will be other lost (and seriously bored) souls trying to get a handle on the what it is the Parliament does, and engaging in similarly pointless conversations with each other.
"Did you find anything out?"
"There's nobody here".
In virtual Europarliamentary space nobody can here you scream (or discuss the technical workings of the commitology procedure preceeding a trilogies into the workings of the Working Time Directive)
(To be fair to them, they do provide a link to the old claims - so it isn't a pure case of stealth editing).