Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

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

Monday, 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

Sunday, 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.

(more…)

Administrative and judicial oversight of trilogue transparency

Thursday, 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)
(more…)

Online workshop explores the theoretical case ‘Against Transparency’

Friday, 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.

(more…)

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

Friday, 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”.

(more…)

Upcoming transparency research & policy events

Monday, 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.

New article on the trade-off between transparency and efficiency

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

A new article in the Journal of European Public Policy takes a closer look at the purported trade-off between transparency and efficiency.

The tension between transparency and efficiency in the context of the Council of the European Union is as often invoked as it remains unclarified. In a new article in the Journal of European Public Policy, Stéphanie Novak (Ca’Foscari University Venice) and Maarten Hillebrandt (Bielefeld University) ask to what extent these two sources of legitimacy are really incompatible as is so routinely claimed, by exploring the premises and the coherence of the trade-off argument. They argue that the argument is unclear at its core because of the multiple meanings of efficiency. Upon a closer examination of the logical premises of the various claims postulated in defence of the presence of a trade-off, they further find that while the trade-off is in some instances more plausible than in others, transparency does not necessarily threaten efficiency and can sometimes even increase it. The presumed correlation between secrecy and efficiency, on which the trade-off is implicitly based, can also be questioned, not only on theoretical but also on empirical grounds. The authors conclude that, all in all, the trade-off argument forms a generally contingent and often questionable basis for limiting transparency.

The article can be accessed here.

New article debunks common myths around EU Council transparency

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

A recent article in Politique Européenne by Maarten Hillebrandt (Bielefeld University) deals with the question of the development of transparency policy in the Council of the European Union. The development path of transparency in the Council is often regarded by outsiders with scepticism. After all, before 1992, the EU’s most ‘intergovernmental’ institution was known for its pervasive diplomatic secrecy. According to insiders, twenty-five years on, continuous external pressure would have made the Council considerably more transparent, in spite of all its resistances. This characterisation of a transparency-hostile Council overrun by external ‘transparency forces’ may however be too schematic.

(more…)

Dissertation on EU Council transparency wins Dutch-Flemmish annual dissertation prize

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

On 1 November, the Dutch Association for Public Administration awarded Maarten Hillebrandt the Van Poelje Prize for his dissertation entitled Living Transparency. The development of access to documents in the Council of the EU and its democratic implications.

The Van Poelje Prize, which is named after Gerrit Abraham van Poelje, one of the founders of the discipline of publich administration in the Netherlands, is awarded once a year to the best dissertation written in the field of public administration. The jury report commended Hillebrandt’s dissertation for its “very relevant and topical new insights in the variation in transparency in different Council formations, the very rigorous conceptual and empirical work, based on document analysis, interview, and process tracing”. The dissertation is freely downloadable here. Other dissertations on the shortlist were written on co-production of public services (Carola van Eijk, Leiden University) and anti-corruption policy (Hortense Jongen, Maastricht University).

Below, Maarten’s word of thanks upon receiving the Van Poelje Prize is reproduced in English, followed by a Dutch translation.

(more…)

Workshop on researching EU transparency in Helsinki

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

On 22-23 March, the TrUE project (short for “Transparency in the EU – From Reaction to Manifesto?”), funded by the Academy of Finland, will host a methodology workshop around the subject of “how to research EU transparency”.

The TrUE project’s research team.

The workshop concentrates on the methodological aspects of the TrUE project. It brings together some of the central researchers active in the field of EU transparency (e.g. prof. dr. Deirdre Curtin, prof. dr. Daniel Naurin, and dr. Maarten Hillebrandt) and the TrUE team (headed by prof. dr. Päivi Leino) to discuss their methodological choices. The workshop is organised in collaboration with the UEF Law School, the European University Institute and the Helsinki Socio-Legal Initiative (HSLI).

The event is open to all. More information about the workshop, and a registration portal, are available through this web page. Further information about the TrUE project can be found here.