A new article in the latest issue of Politics & Governance deals with the role of transparency in interinstitutional politics. The question of transparency is widely regarded as a thermometer of the relation between the Council of the EU and the public at large. Relatively little attention however has been devoted to the implications of transparency (i.e., access for the general public) for inter-institutional information politics, even when the limited evidence suggests that the connection is considerable. The current publication asks how EU actors use Council transparency as a platform and for what reason. It approaches transparency as a policy that is developed in three arenas: the internal, the external political, and the external judicial arena. The article finds strong evidence in support of the view that the Council’s transparency policy played a central role in EU institutions’ attempt to advance their information ambitions. By strongly engaging with the issue of transparency particularly the European Parliament and its members succeeded at expanding their institutional information basis in an area where their political grip was traditionally at its weakest: the Foreign Affairs Council. Acting in turn as a bargaining chip, a political lever, or an alternative to institutional information, the Foreign Affairs Council’s transparency policy was thus clearly used to advance information agendas of oversight and legislative prerogatives.
On Friday 12 February, CERIM (Maastricht) will host a workshop on ‘The Law and Politics of Confidential EU Negotiations’ at the UM Campus in Brussels.
The workshop is organised by dr. Abazi and dr. Aedriaensen (both CERIM). Central questions that will be asked at this workshop are: Why does the European Union negotiate (part of) its external negotiations in secret? To what extent is secrecy necessary in the context of EU negotiations and what are the consequences in terms of democratic accountability?
EU transparency in the news, January – March 2015.
The Open Government in the EU blog keeps a regularly updated overview of news reporting on EU transparency since September 2014. This post contains an overview of reports over the first three months of 2015. News reports are collected through quick scans on Google news and the most relevant websites. While this news scan is in no way exhaustive or fully systematic, it does provide a nice overview of the direction that the transparency debate is taking over a period of months.
During the first quarter-year of 2015, EU transparency news focused predominantly on the (lack of) transparency around the TTIP negotiations and the issue of tax transparency sparked by the LuxLeaks scandal. A further item that continued to be debated in 2015 was the regulation and transparency of lobbying activities. A longlist of news reports is provided below.
Suggestions for additions or current news are warmly welcomed, via the twitter account @MZHillebrandt. –MH
See also: news reporting September – December 2014
Since after the summer of 2014, the Open Government in the EU blog is keeping a regularly updated overview of news reports related to transparency and access to documents in the context of the EU. News reports are collected through quick scans on Google news and the most relevant websites.
While this news scan is in no way exhaustive or fully systematic, it does provide a nice overview of the direction that the transparency debate is taking over a period of months. The aim is therefore to present to our readers, next to the news roll on the right side of the blog, a three-monthly overview of all reports collected, beginning with the final months of 2014. Suggestions for additions or current news are warmly welcomed, via the twitter account @MZHillebrandt.