Euro-Just lobbies Council for Special Secrecy Exclusion

EuroJust logoBrussels, 12 April 2012 – A leaked document dated 12 April 2012 has revealed that EuroJust, the EU’s judicial cooperation body, attended the last Council meeting to argue for special language to exclude it from the future access to documents rules.

According to the text passed to Access Info Europe, EuroJust is arguing that it is should only covered by Regulation 1049 when exercising administrative functions, and that all judicial documents be excluded from public access.

As well as being a potential violation of the transparency requirements of the Lisbon Treaty, a special exclusion for EuroJust is of concern because of its very broad role in policing and security in Europe which, according to the EuroJust website, includes “the same types of crime and offences for which Europol has competence, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, counterfeiting, money laundering, computer crime, crime against property or public goods including fraud and corruption, criminal offences affecting the European Community’s financial interests, environmental crime and participation in criminal organisations. For other types of offences, Eurojust may assist in investigations and prosecutions at the request of a Member State.”

One-sided Lobbying of the Council

While bodies liked EuroJust and DG Competition attend the Council’s Working Party on Information meetings, civil society is being excluded. There are no minutes of the meetings and many of the documents tabled are not accessible.

It is only recently under the Danish Presidency that some limited reports on proceedings have been released.

Access Info Europe is concerned about this one-sided lobbying to reduce public access to EU documents which is happening without the involvement or scrutiny of the European public.

Access Info Europe has an ongoing court case against the Council for more access to Council documents during legislative procedures, read more here.