Categories
News reports

Transparency news reports in 2018

Politico/EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

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 2018. 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, 2019, 2017, 2016,  2015 (first quarter, second quarter, and second half), and 2014 (last quarter).

Main themes in 2018

In 2018, news reporting on EU transparency issues predominantly focussed on the European Ombudsman’s criticism of Council decision making, EP discretionary budgets, and Commission measures to enhance the visibility of (the rules around) lobbying activities.

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.

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.

Categories
Case law Civil society Practice

Council of EU undergoing full reorientation on transparency question

On Wednesday 18 July 2018, the committee  of ambassadors of the member states to the EU (Coreper) held an orientational debate about the need for reforms of the Council’s transparency policy, thus Agence Europe reports.

Categories
Case law Practice

Landmark access case requires Parliament to publish legislative negotiation documents fully and immediately

Emilio de Capitani (photo credit: EUD Observatory/YouTube)

In a landmark case delivered on Thursday 22 March, the EU’s General Court requires the European Parliament to publish legislative negotiation documents (known by EU insiders as the “trilogue four-column document”) not only fully, but also immediately.

Case T-540/15 was brought by Emilio de Capitani, who had been refused access to the full negotiation document in ongoing legislative processes in the area of justice and home affairs.

Against the Parliament’s assertion that access to the full document could not be granted while negotiations were under way without jeopardising the legislative process, the Court found that no legal grounds existed in the access to documents act (Regulation 1049/01) to postpone disclosure of the document, as the act states should be the legal default position.