7th Global Conference on Transparency Research postponed due to corona pandemic

January 4th, 2021

The 7th GCTR, originally planned to take place in May 2021 at the Copenhagen Business School, has been postponed for a year due to ongoing virological and logistical concerns related to the corona pandemic. The newly set date is 18-20 May 2022.

The Council ‘repairs’ EU transparency rules informally

January 3rd, 2021

A new publication in the Journal of Common Market Studies by TrUE project researcher Maarten Hillebrandt demonstrates how informality may help explain anomalies in Council transparency policy.

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Administrative and judicial oversight of trilogue transparency

December 17th, 2020

An article by TrUE researchers Maarten Hillebrandt and Päivi Leino-Sandberg was recently published in the Journal of European Public Policy. The publication analyses the role played by the European Ombudsman and the Court of Justice in overseeing the fulfillment of transparency obligations in trilogue negotiations.

A trilogue meeting (photo credit: European Parliament)
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European journalist collective launches series of publications on Council secrecy

November 30th, 2020

A collective of European journalists investigating European Union politics has recently launched a investigative study into the secrecy of Council decision making.

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Online workshop explores the theoretical case ‘Against Transparency’

September 4th, 2020

Transparency –openness of government– is a value that no one wants to be seen pleading against. Or is it? An online workshop, organised by the Academy of Finland-funded research project TrUE explores the case ‘against transparency’. The workshop is open to the public, upon registration.

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7th Global Conference on Transparency Research Call for Papers Closing Soon

August 21st, 2020

The 7th Global Conference on Transparency Research will be held from 19-21 May at the Copenhagen Business School. This edition of the conference is entitled “Rethinking Transparency: Challenging Ideals and Embracing Paradoxes”.

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Transparency news reports in 2019

March 11th, 2020

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 for 2019. Recent news reports on EU transparency can also be found on the sidebar to the right of this post.

See also the news report digests for 2018, 2017, 2016,  2015 (first quarter, second quarter, and second half), and 2014 (last quarter).

Will presidents Von der Leyen and Michel take the lead in advancing transparency? Photo credit: European Council/EU Observer.

Main themes in 2019

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The big lesson after ten years of EU transparency reforms? You will never get it right

January 14th, 2020

By Maarten Hillebrandt

The Lisbon Treaty recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. The Treaty, which laid the fundament for a reformed European Union, entered into force with the promise that European decision making would become more transparent, and therefore more democratic. The tenth birthday makes up a nice moment to consider what has come of these ambitions.

Credit: El País.

On 1 December 2009, the day that the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, the European Commission released a long memo to journalists. What should they expect from the new treaty? To no-one’s surprise, the memo was obligatorily jubilant. As a concrete example of improvement, the Commission mentioned that the treaty would bring “more democracy and transparency”. The attribution of policy competences and the decision-making process, particularly where it concerned legislation, would henceforth be more visible and understandable for the public at large. Would Lisbon finally draw a line under the dragging transparency debate?

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An agenda for transparency in the EU

November 11th, 2019

TRANSPARENCY AND OPENNESS of Union decision-making procedures are foundational values of the EU[1] and essential to a system under the rule of law. But are the existing EU standards of transparency adequate to ensure that these values translate to legitimate exercise of public powers on the European level? In view of today’s challenges, is the EU’s approach to transparency sufficient, given that it is an atypical constitutional structure exercising sovereign powers across multiple levels of government and in constant need of explaining itself?

By Herwig Hofmann and Päivi Leino-Sandberg

Upcoming transparency research & policy events

September 2nd, 2019

18-19 September 2019: “Workshop: Inside the Black Box of Trilogues”, Utrecht University. Closed event.

24 September 2019: “Seminar: The future of EU transparency”, Finnish EU Presidency, Brussels. Closed event.

19-20 November 2019: “RECONNECT Conference: Transparency in the EU: mechanisms and practices”, Lille Catholic University (ESPOL). Abstract submission deadline: 20 September 2019. More information here.