Members of Dutch parliament present draft European Information Law

April 21st, 2017

On 17 March, two members of the Dutch parliament presented a draft European Information Law.

The draft law, drawn up by members Marit Maij and Anne Mulder, respective members of the then-ruling coalition parties the Social Democrats and the Liberals, intends to regulate the government’s information duties towards the Dutch parliament where it concerns European Union decision making. Whereas the parliament’s right to be informed already existed under Article 68 of the Dutch constitution, it is up until now dispersed in various pieces of parliamentary proceedings agreed at various points in time. The current draft law for the first time sets out to formalise the government’s information duties, codifying existing agreements and adding new ones. As the explanatory memorandum clarifies, information provided to the parliament should in principle be available to the public and open for public parliamentary debate.

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Upcoming Transparency Events

February 9th, 2017

10 March – Public defence doctoral dissertation Maarten Hillebrandt, “Living Transparency. The development of access to documents in the Council of the EU and its democratic implications”, University of Amsterdam – http://acelg.uva.nl/home/components/acelg-events/acelg-events/content/folder/events/2017/03/defence-hillebrandt.html

16 March – Conference on “Transparency and Secrecy in Foreign Policy”, organized by the University of Agder, the University of Oslo, and the University of Maastricht, Kristiansand (Norway) – http://www.uia.no/en/conferences-and-seminares/transparency-and-secrecy-in-foreign-policy

10-12 August – Mini-track on “Open Government and Policy-Making in the Digital Age” at AMCIS conference, Boston (USA) – https://amcis2017.aisnet.org/submissions/track-descriptions/#toggle-id-6

6-9 September – Section on “Behind Closed Doors Re-Visited: Exploring the Transparency-Accountability-Representation Nexus” at the ECPR Annual Conference, Oslo (Norway) – https://ecpr.eu/Events/SectionDetails.aspx?SectionID=678&EventID=96

Panel on transparency at ECPR annual conference in Oslo

December 14th, 2016

The next ECPR annual conference, held in Oslo 6-9 September, will feature a section on government transparency. Entitled “Behind Closed Doors Re-Visited: Exploring the Transparency-Accountability-Representation Nexus”, the section, chaired by dr. Guri Rosén and Anne Elizabeth Stie, includes panels on (1) the relation between transparency, representation and accountability, (2) transparency in the European Parliament, (3) parliamentary oversight, and (4) expertisation.
The panels now invite papers. More information can be found here: The next ECPR annual conference, held in Oslo 6-9 September, will feature a section on government transparency. Entitled “Behind Closed Doors Re-Visited: Exploring the Transparency-Accountability-Representation Nexus”, the section, chaired by dr. Guri Rosén and Anne Elizabeth Stie, includes panels on (1) the relation between transparency, representation and accountability, (2) transparency in the European Parliament, (3) parliamentary oversight, and (4) expertisation.

The panels now invite papers. More information can be found here: https://ecpr.eu/Events/SectionDetails.aspx?SectionID=678&EventID=96.

Presentations and discussions on EU transparency across North-Western Europe

October 24th, 2016

During the coming months, several presentations and/or discussions on transparency of the European Union are planned in which members of the Open Government project or affiliated researchers take part.

On Wednesday 2 November, the Dutch Parliament’s Standing Committee on European Affairs is to organise a roundtable discussion on the state of EU information provision. Invited as speakers are dr. Gijs Jan Brandsma (UU, Utrecht), prof. Deirdre Curtin (EUI, Florence), Maarten Hillebrandt (University of Bielefeld, Meijers Committee), and prof. Kees Groenendijk (Meijers Committee). Written contributions (one in English, two in Dutch), can be accessed here.

On Tuesday 6 December, dr. Guri Rosén will present and discuss a paper in the CERG seminar (Gothenburg, Sweden) entitled “The secret is out: How to account for the (lack of) transparency in EU external relations?”.

On that same day, Maarten Hillebrandt will hold a presentation on “Understanding the development of access to documents in the Council of the EU”, at the Law and Society seminar of the University of Bielefeld (Germany).

Update on 7 November 2016.

New article explores the relations between secrecy and executive dominance in the EU

October 14th, 2016

The concept of the ‘space to think’ has since long offered an argument to EU decision makers to limit the transparency of decision-making processes. In a new article entitled “‘Integration without transparency’? Reliance on the space to think in the European Council and Council” published in the Journal of European Integration, Maarten Hillebrandt (Bielefeld University) and Stéphanie Novak (UC Lille) explore a tacit but common assumption underlying the EU’s reliance on the ‘space to think’: that it is caused and amplified by the dominance of executive actors.

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Fifth Global Conference on Transparency Research Announced

October 14th, 2016

Limerick logoThe fifth Global Conference on Transparency Research has been announced.

It is due to take place at the University of Limerick, Ireland, from 19-21 June 2017. The organisation this time is in the hands of an tricontinental team of researchers from the Universities of Limerick, Baltimore (USA), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Makerere (Kampala, Uganda).

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Transparency news reports second half 2015

March 21st, 2016

Since September 2014, the Open Government in the EU blog scans English-language online news outlets for news on EU transparency. Please find below the news digest of the second half of 2015. Digests of other time periods are searchable via the category “news reports” at the bottom of this post.

 

07/07/15// BBC: TTIP talks: Transparency call for EU-US trade disputes

07/09/15// EurActiv: EU needs compulsory transparency register to rein in Big Pharma lobbying

10/09/15// Politico: Transparency: Now you see it…

15/09/15// Euractiv: Trialogues: What goes on behind closed doors?

22/09/15// EP News: Economic policies: how Parliament insists on transparency and democratic accountability

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Transparency news reports April-June 2015

March 21st, 2016

Since September 2014, the Open Government in the EU blog scans English-language online news outlets for news on EU transparency. Please find below the news digest of the second quarter of 2015. Digests of other time periods are searchable via the category “news reports” at the bottom of this post.

 

31/03/15// Parliament Magazine: MEPs unconvinced by commission’s ‘revolutionary’ EU tax transparency proposals

16/02/15// IAM Magazine:  It is now incumbent on all sides to back full transparency at the EPO; and that does mean all and full

20/02/15// Tax News: EU Seeks Transparency On Corporate Tax

25/02/15// Radio Poland:  Poland applauds proposed EU energy solidarity, transparency

18/03/15// EUObserver: EU proposes new tax transparency rules

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Dutch Presidency of the EU to host “transparency unconference”

March 15th, 2016

logo-transparencycamp-europeThe Dutch government, which currently holds the Presidency of the EU, has recently announced that it will host a “transparency unconference” in Amsterdam on 1 June. The event, which has its own dedicated website is co-organised by the Dutch NGO Open State Foundation, which has as its mission the promotion of open data.

The term unconference stands for an “unscheduled conference, where you decide the agenda”. Among its objectives, the organisers pledge to go in a collective search for transparency innovations on the technological or other fronts. Participation to the event is free of charge.

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Brussels workshop on the role of confidentiality in international negotiations

January 25th, 2016

On Friday 12 February, CERIM (Maastricht) will host a workshop on ‘The Law and Politics of Confidential EU Negotiations’ at the UM Campus in Brussels.

The workshop is organised by dr. Abazi and dr. Aedriaensen (both CERIM). Central questions that will be asked at this workshop are: Why does the European Union negotiate (part of) its external negotiations in secret? To what extent is secrecy necessary in the context of EU negotiations and what are the consequences in terms of democratic accountability?

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