EU-UK: European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons report

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The Conclusions of the European Council and the Council of Ministers (pdf). It says:

"The Conclusions of the European Council have an important influence — sometimes, a decisive one — on the future of the EU and the 500 million people who live in it. Yet there is no written record of what is actually said by the Heads of State and Government.... So national parliaments, the public, the press and everyone else is denied any possibility of checking the accuracy of the Presidency’s Conclusions or understanding how the meeting reached its decisions... this is all the more unacceptable when, as the National Parliament Office’s report says, the drafts have a wide informal circulation in Brussels and are widely reported in the press."

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"This report highlights the way that the European Council - the Prime Ministers - meet in secret and set the agenda for the Council of Ministers, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Draft Conclusions, Actions Plans and Programmes are not published in advance for parliaments and civil society to discuss and make their views known.

For example, the Tampere and Hague Programmes which set the agenda for EU Justice and Home Affairs policies from 1999 onwards were discussed and agreed in secret and only made public after they were agreed. The whole process is a travesty of the democratic process."

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