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Ombudsman to Council on secrecy in law-making: "there has never been a more critical time" for openness
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The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has said that "there has never been a more critical time for the European democratic process to be seen by EU citizens as open and transparent," in a letter urging the Council to provide more information on how it plans to respond to the Ombudsman's inquiry on secret "trilogue" meetings between the Council, Parliament and Commission. The letter was sent to the Council in February but is classified as LIMITE and has been kept from public view.

See: Follow up letter from the European Ombudsman in case OI/8/2015/JAS concerning the Transparency of Trilogues (6276/16, LIMITE, 14 February 2017, pdf)

The Ombudsman's inquiry did "not find any grounds for maladministration in the conduct of the three Institutions," but did make a limited set of recommendations, for example to increase the transparency of trilogues - in which the three institutions meet in secret to thrash out deals on new laws - by "publishing key documents," such as "trilogue dates and summary agendas; the positions of both co-legislators [Council and Parliament] on the Commission's proposal; and the names of the decision-makers present in trilogue meetings."

Ombudsman press release: Ombudsman calls for more trilogues transparency (July 2016, link)

See also: Opening up secret trilogue decision-making awaits court decision (Statewatch News Online, 2 January 2017)

And: A missed opportunity to open up secret trilogue decision-making in the EU (pdf) by Tony Bunyan

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