Madrid, 30 September 2015 – Access Info Europe along with European Digital Rights (EDRi) and other 16 signatory organisations, today sent an open letter to European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council Secretary-General Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, calling for a major reform of the so-called “trialogues”.
The letter calls for public access to be granted to the trialogue meetings, and for the systematic and timely publication of all trialogue documents. The letter remains open to signatories.
“Citizens should be able to scrutinise EU decision-making,” said Andreas Pavlou, Campaigner Researcher at Access Info Europe. “The lack of transparency around trialogue meetings means citizens cannot hold European institutions to account nor participate in important legislation that affects their lives,” he added.
These informal inter-institutional meetings between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission have become an established feature of EU decision-making. While they are originally aimed at increasing efficiency by means of achieving early agreements on legislation, trialogues undermine accountability and transparency of the EU legislative process. Very little information is available to the public because these meetings take place behind closed doors. Only well-resourced lobbies have access to trialogue documents. What about citizens? Ultimately, trialogues puts the European Parliament, the only EU institution which is directly elected by citizens, in a weak position and, in practice, actively discriminates against citizens.
The European Ombudsman launched an investigation on trialogues, and hosted an event on the “International Right to Know Day” where several stakeholders offered their points of view with the Ombudsman. We sent this open letter to support the European Ombudsman’s initiative for reform.
For more information, please contact:
Andreas Pavlou | Access Info Europe
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