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"Trialogue" discussions on new code of access to EU documents collapse with no agreement - 1st May deadline will not be met
01 February 2001
The "Trialogue" discussions between the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament on the new code of access to EU documents have collapsed with no agreement being reached: Trialogue
After three meetings of the three institutions to resolve the differences between their draft proposals there was little, or no agreement, on a "compromise". The process will now - after a three month delay - return to the formal "co-decision" procedure whereby all three institutions have to agree on the new code of access. This process could take up to eight months to complete. The deadline set by the Amsterdam Treaty agreed in June 1997 was that the new code had to be in place by 1 May 2001.
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, commented:
"This is a real mess, the EU institutions have had nearly four years to sort this out. The new code is meant to "enshrine" in EU law the existing code of access to documents which has been in place since 1993.
Instead we have seen each of the three institutions trying to protect their own interests. All three draft positions undermine the present code and would give citizens less rights than at present.
It is extraordinary that this of all measures has not been sorted out. There has been no consultation with civil society. It will not be agreed on time. None of the drafts are in line with the Treaty commitment. If, as it seems, the institutions do not want a true freedom of information law in the EU then we would be better off with the current code of access."
Article by Tony Bunyan in the European Voice: No freedom of information in the EU
The latest drafts for a new code of access to EU documents from each of the three institutions
NB: the comparative table in SN 1296 contains the text of the European Parliament's report adopted on 16 November 2000, the European Parliament's position in SN 1652 and SN 1715 contains the European Parliament's "compromise" text. With the breakdown of the "trialogue" discussions the parliament has reverted to its original position in SN 1296.
Comparison of the three drafts as at 19.1.01: SN 1296
(pdf file) SN 1296
Comparison of the three drafts as at 13.2.01: (Word 97)
Comparison of the three drafts as at 15.2.01: SN 1715
(pdf file) SN 1715