EU: MEPs’ quick-deal concerns

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European Voice (link)

"MEPs are concerned that the increasing trend for reaching quick deals with the Council of Ministers is detrimental to the Parliament’s" Under the co-decision procedure (between the parliament and the Council) 80% of measures have been agreed at 1st reading including 19 out of 23 measures going before the Civil Liberties Committee. Full-text of the EP's Working Party report on Parliamentary Reform on Co-decision and Conciliation (pdf)

Background: - Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit by Tony Bunyan (first published in Statewatch bulletin November-December 2006). Under a new agreement between the Council and the European Parliament the efficiency of decision-making is enhanced at the expense of transparency, openness and accountability. This is particularly the case on border controls, asylum and immigration measures.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"It is to be hope that the European Parliament follows this advice and resists pressure from the Council to decide new laws in closed meetings. To reverse present practice the parliament needs to insist on a revision of the 2007 Joint Declaration which presumes that secret trilogues and first reading agreements are the norm.

Crucially the documents and drafts which are circulated for the trilogue meetings must be made public as they are produced or else any reforms will be meaningless. Democratic procedures mean that people know what is being discussed and have a chance to intervene before a measure is agreed. The Working Party is silent on this issue."

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