EU: Council objects to Commission report which "names and shames" governments (1)

Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.

- "the habit has been not to "name and shame"" governments which fail to implement decisions correctly (Council Presidency)

The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union has sent a report to the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA,now being re-named as JLS) questioning the European Commission's role in evaluating member states (the 25 governments) implementation of measures.

The issue arose after the Commission issued an evaluation report on the "transposition" of the Framework Decision on Joint Investigative Teams which detailed national governments' failure to implement the Decision (see Statewatch's previous story, 3 February below). Their report concluded that:

"only one Member State adopted transposing measures which are fully compliant with the Framework Decision (Spain)"

The Presidency report, dated 9 February, says that it was the practice to discuss implementation reports by the Commission at working party level:

"on the basis of the report and a paper drawn up by the Presidency where the habit has been not to "name and shame"... or because the Commission and the Member State concerned is not in agreement whether the Member State has implemented the Framework Decision correctly" (emphasis added)

The "Hague Programme" (3.2) calls for:

"a system providing for objective and impartial evaluation of the implementation of EU policies in the field"

The Presidency report says there are two kinds of evaluation, ones on the "transposition of legal instruments" and the other on "how member states cooperate with each other in practice" - to the outsider both concern implementation: first to properly implement at the national level into legislation, the second the practice. Reports on both are clearly needed if there is to be any accountability.

The report calls for "the advice of Ministers", via permanent delegations based in Brussels, on how to proceed in future and to effect a "system of implementation of decisions in the JLS area".

The options presented asked whether delegations are "content" that "the Council simply [takes] note of Commission reports" or should implementation reports by "discussed by the Council itself?" The Presidency notes however that this might "take too much time of of its [JLS] agenda" and might not be seriously discussed.

The Ministers are posed a number of questions which include: i) should the Commission reports carry out an evaluation of "how each Member State has implemented" Framework Decisions and report to the Council on whether they have fulfilled their task? ii) should the Commission "report both on delays in implementation as well as on quality aspests?" or iii) should "some form of adversarial system be set up which would let the Member State that has been criticised respond?"

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"The new Constitution makes a distinction between legislative and non-legislative decision-making (and reporting) and to what extent the latter documents are going to be open and accessible is not yet clear. This issue goes further and would influence the actual content of reports, for example, by not embarrassing national governments by detailing their inaction or malpractice.

The "habit" of not naming and shaming governments has no place in a democratic and accountable Europe"

Source: Note from Presidency to Council: Evaluation reports - orientation debate (EU doc no: 6047/2/05)

EU: Laws on Joint Investigation Teams in a mess

- UK "not complying" with the EU Framework Decision on JITs

Statewatch News Online story filed on 3 February 2005

The European Commission has published a report on the compliance by the 25 EU members states to the Framework Decision on Joint Investigative Teams (COM(2004)858, 7.1.05). Its conclusion is that:

"only one Member State ad

Our work is only possible with your support.
Become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error