Categories
Practice

No Democracy in the European Union Without Transparency

The EU’s accession to the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents would help strengthen transparency’s supportive role of transparency, guest blogger dr. Miguel Angel Blanes Climent argues.

Citizens do not ask the government for measures against corruption or lack of transparency. There are enough. We just want them to be enforced. There is no use in having the most advanced and ambitious standards against corruption and transparency then if they are not implemented or if the means to exercise them do not work because they are desperately slow due to the lack of funds or they are very expensive in terms of time and costs.

We are still missing the most important thing, a sincere political will to be transparent. And this attitude does not always exist. Of course, without the constant pressure of citizenship, the current attitude of authorities, officials or entities managing public funds will never change.

The challenge is served. Citizens should be aware of the importance for their daily lives and the benefits they can obtain if they demand transparency to entities managing public funds: corruption will be reduced and the waste of our money will be avoided.

Categories
Research

Presentations on Council democracy & transparency

Early March sees two presentations on the interactions between transparency, democracy, and governance in the Council of the EU, in Lausanne and Brussels.

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On Wednesday 4 March, Open Government in the EU team member Maarten Hillebrandt will give a presentation at the University of Lausanne with the title “Babylonian speech confusion? Transparency’s Role in EU Council Democracy”. The presentation will take place in the context of the spring seminar series “Politique Suisse – enjeux et dilemmes”, convened by the Laboratoire d’analyse de la gouvernance et de l’action publique en Europe (LAGAPE), where Maarten is currently a visiting researcher. See here for more information.

On Thursday 5 March, dr. Stéphanie Novak (Université Catholique de Lille/EHESS Paris) will present work on the relation between transparency and decisional efficiency at the ESPOL Lille/ULB Brussels conference on “The quality of democracy within institutions and organisations”. Click on the flyer for more information.

Categories
News reports Practice

Op-ed on current initiatives for enhancing EU’s democratic transparency

Parliamentary disobedience in the the eurosceptic UK strengthens democratic oversight in the EU.

On 4 Februari, an op-ed article by professor Deirdre Curtin of the Open Government in the EU project, entitled “How the British are making the EU more democratic”, was published in Dutch daily Trouw. The article (in Dutch) is reproduced below. By clicking on the image, the picture is shown in a larger version.

Categories
Case law

European Court of Justice upholds judgement in Access Info Europe appeal

The Court of Justice of the EU dismisses in full the Council’s appeal against an earlier judgement in the much publicised Access Info Europe case.

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The long awaited judgement of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in the Access Info Europe appeal was finally handed down last week, on 17 October. After losing a case against Access Info Europe (AIE) in front of the lower General Court, the Council appealed. The CJEU now has found that the General Court’s judgement was correct and must therefore be upheld. In total, three separate pleas in law filed by the Council were refuted.