The Council’s ongoing transparency overhaul continues to attract public attention.
Recent days have seen a wave of criticism against the new Commission’s transparency initiative.
Earlier this year, the Madrid-based transparency advocacy organisation Access Info Europe released a manual for those seeking access to European Union documents.
The Guide on Access EU Documents is particularly aimed at citizens and civil society, but also at academics and journalists. By explaining the administrative procedure underlying Regulation 1049/2001 (the EU’s law on access to documents) step by step, AIE seeks to “demystify” an opaque procedure which “remains underused by the population at large”.
New Presidency, New Round of Talks
The Cyprus presidency has entered the EU transparency battlefield.
In an earlier post on this blog, I commented how the Danish presidency, in a race against the clock in the final weeks of June, failed to find a compromise on the transparency reform dossier that found sufficient support among both the member states and the European Parliament. (The latter having shown, over the years, much assertiveness in the area of what is known among lawyers as constitutional law, and among political scientists as oversight or meta-regulation.) The Danes failed miserably – its draft proposals for either a medium- and a light-version of a reformed Transparency Regulation were torpedoed and were criticised by transparency-friendly parties as a sell-out.
As of 1 July, Cyprus has taken over the presidency. From the early start, the Cypriots have shown a keenness to revive the talks and to start a fresh search for political compromise. A team under the experienced (and nicely-named) Cypriot senior diplomat Dionysis Dionysiou has enbarked on a new reconnaissance mission in bilateral talks to gauge the temperature among the various parties involved, bothinside among the Council members, and outside among the co-legislating EP and groups from civil society.