Categories
Implementation Legal reform

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

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. On the tenth birthday, Maarten Hillebrandt considers what has come of these ambitions.

Credit: El País.
Categories
Implementation Legal reform

An agenda for transparency in the EU

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? Herwig Hofmann and Päivi Leino-Sandberg see room for reform.

Categories
Research

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

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.

Categories
Jurisprudence Research

Well into the third act: The way forward on public access to EU documents

Public Access to Documents in the EU, by Leonor Rossi and Patricia Vinagre e Silva, (Oxford/Portland, Hart Publishing, 2017, ISBN 9781509905331); xxxviii + 340pp.; £49.00 hb.

 

Access to EU Documents: A Policy in Three Acts

On 7 February, the EU celebrated a remarkable anniversary. Exactly twenty-five years ago on that day, the Heads of State and Government (HSG) of the European Community’s then twelve Member States took the bold leap forward by signing the Maastricht Treaty. Another leap forward lay tucked away in one of the Treaty’s accompanying texts, even when the Member States’ representatives did not realise it at the time of signing. Declaration 17, attached to the Maastricht Treaty, recognised the positive relation between transparency and democracy, and professed an intention to take steps to advance such transparency. Thus began the First Act of a transformative development called Access to Documents.