Madrid, 14 July 2016 – European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly today published key recommendations calling on the EU institutions to increase transparency of negotiations over future legislation, the EU’s traditionally secretive “trilogue” meetings.
Access Info welcomed O’Reilly’s call for proactive publication of key information to shed light on this secretive part of the EU legislative process, noting that the EU treaties require openness in the legislative process.
“It is high time the EU institutions act upon the fact trilogues are part of the EU legislative process and subject them to the same standards of transparency, public scrutiny, and participation as any other part of EU law making,” stated Andreas Pavlou, RTI Campaigner at Access Info Europe.
Whilst the Ombudsman defended institutional concerns about providing a closed space for discussion away from public participation, she stated it is still important that the public is provided afterwards with all the information necessary to understand and scrutinise the process that has occurred.
The types of documents that the EU institutions should make public according to the Ombudsman include four-column tables, pre-negotiating positions of institutions, lists of meeting participants, and meeting agendas.
The Ombudsman also reflected Access Info’s comments to her public consultation that timely proactive publication of information would help to address concerns around privileged access of lobbyists and better provide a level playing field for all those wishing to participate in EU law-making. She recommended information be publicly available as well via an easy-to-use and easy-to-understand joint database on line.
Although the Ombudsman has no binding power, the three main EU institutions have until the 16 December 2016 to inform O’Reilly of any action they have taken in relation to her proposals.
“It would be reckless were EU institutions to completely ignore the Ombudsman’s recommendations, following ever-mounting demands for greater accountability of EU lawmakers and more citizen participation in the legislative process,” added Pavlou.
You can find the Ombudsman Decision and recommendations to improve trilogue transparency, here: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/cases/decision.faces/en/69206/html.bookmark#_ftn24
For more information please contact:
Andreas Pavlou | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558