News reports

Transparency news reports in 2019

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 2020, 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

The year began with a focus on reforms in internal transparency rules of the European Parliament concerning voting. As talks on an interinstitutional register for interactions with lobbyists came to a head and then collapsed in March, the focus shifted on lobby transparency, with attention dedicated to lobby practices in the permanent representatives. The second quarter saw a strong increase in coverage of the European Ombudsman’s activities to promote EU transparency, possibly related to her high-profile re-election by the European Parliament later in the year. The second half of the year again shifted the focus to the Council and its internal transparency reforms, with attention dedicated to the long-term stalement resulting from a strong entrenchment of positions among the member states.


03/01/19// Yahoo: Juncker ignored EU watchdog’s advice over Brexit talks transparency, letters reveal

11/01/19// Politico: European Parliament is failing on transparency

15/01/19// EUObserver: Centre-right MEPs want transparency vote to be secret

31/01/19// European Parliament: European Parliament approves more transparency and efficiency in its internal rules

31/01/19// EUObserver: MEPs vote for transparency, despite EPP secret ballot

31/01/19// Deutsche Welle: EU votes for more transparency in dealing with lobbyists

06/02/19// EUObserver: EU embassies ‘shockingly’ opaque about lobbyists

07/02/19// EUObserver: ‘No real progress’ on Eurogroup transparency

11/02/19// Euractiv: Frans Timmermans: Make lobbying in the EU truly transparent

15/02/19// Politico: EU Influence: Finnish transparency push — French influence in freefall — Easy advising gigs

07/03/19// Euractiv: EU court prioritises transparency over ‘secrecy’ in landmark glyphosate ruling

14/02/19// European Commission: Transparency: Parliament, Commission and Council held a third round of talks on the proposal for a mandatory Transparency Register

14/02/19// EUObserver: EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency

27/03/19// Euractiv: MEPs ask next Commission chief to oust Selmayr

29/03/19// EUObserver: Facebook launches EU election transparency rules


04/04/19// Baltic Course: Moving towards a European transparency register for lobbyists

05/04/19// EUObserver: Lobby register transparency talks collapse

06/04/19// Euronews: European Union bid for greater lobby transparency ‘dead’, European Parliament says

11/04/19// EUObserver: EU could learn from Scotland’s transparency register

02/05/2019// EUObserver: Ombudsman backs EUobserver on MEP expenses

08/05/19// EUObserver: Opinion: The non-accountable MEPs

14/05/19// FishSec: Ombudsman investigates EU Council’s lack of transparency around fishing quotas

14/05/19// Politico: EU ombudsman blasts secret pesticide positions

15/05/19// NewEurope: EU Ombudsman demands more openness from Eurogroup

15/05/19// Agence Europe: Reputation of European Ombudsman’s office is rising, according to its report for 2018

18/06/19// EUObserver: Frontex transparency dispute goes to EU court

19/06/19// European Interest: European Ombudsman welcomes Dutch initiative on EU transparency

20/06/19// EUObserver: Ombudsman: Tusk’s staff should record lobby meetings

20/06/19// ECER: Nederland voorstander van meer transparantie en verantwoording in de EU

24/06/19// Parliament Magazine: EU Ombudsman hails Dutch drive to improve Council transparency

27/06/19// Politico: Opinion: Eurozone needs transparent politics, not ‘trust’


02/07/19// EUObserver: EIB blames Ombudsman for not helping redact VW report

05/07/19// DW: EU’s Juncker regrets lack of transparency in von der Leyen’s nomination

22/07/19// Parliament Magazine: MEPs raise ‘grave’ concerns over Council transparency

01/08/19// EUObserver: EU receives record number of requests for documents

27/09/19// Politico: EU Influence: Future of transparency


10/10/19// Corporate Europe Observatory: Reform of Council transparency in stalemate

12/10/19// Politico: EU Confidential: Green MEP Daniel Freund on EU transparency

18/10/19// Politico: EU Influence: Council transparency stalled

07/11/19// EUObserver: Opinion: EU ‘all bark and no bite’ on disinformation

27/11/19// EUObserver: Transparency campaigners lose Frontex case

06/12/19// EUObserver: Opinion: Will Michel lead on lobbying transparency at Council?

12/12/19// Total Croatia News: NGOs Demand Transparency During Croatia’s EU Presidency

18/12/19// EUObserver: EU reappoints ‘fearless’ Irish ombudsman