24 September 2015 — Statewatch
SPECIAL: EU Ombudsman investigating secret “trilogue” decision-making but:
The Council challenges the right of the European Ombudsman to conduct an inquiry into secret “trilogues” (in which most EU legislation is decided)
In May 2015 Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman, began an Own-initiative Inquiry on the “transparency of trilogues (pdf), But the Council of the European Union challenges the right of the Ombudsman to carry out such an inquiry: Council response to the Ombudsman (pdf)
“Trilogues” are meetings of the two EU co-legislators: the Council of the European Union (the 28 EU governments) and the European Parliament (with the European Commission in attendance). The purpose of trilogues is to speed up decision-making by agreeing new legislative measures quickly at 1st reading.
Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex, comments: “The Council’s objection to the Ombudsman’s competence is totally unfounded”
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: “Over 80% of all new EU laws are agreed in these secret trilogues – they should have no place in a democracy worthy of the name – they should be held in the open with full public access to documents so that we can see what is being decided in our name.”
As part of the Inquiry the Ombudsman has organised a Consultation meeting (link) on 28 September 2015 (10.00 – 12.00 in Room JAN 4Q1 of the European Parliament in Brussels).
Statewatch was amongst the first to criticise secret trilogues: See:
– Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit (September 2007, pdf)
– European Parliament: Abolish 1st [and 2nd] reading secret deals – bring back democracy “warts and all” (pdf)
– Proposed Commission changes to Regulation on access to documents fail to meet Lisbon Treaty commitments (pdf)
Statewatch: Monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe PO Box 1516, London, N16 0EW. UK tel: +44(0)20-8802-1882; fax: +44(0)20-8880-1727 http://www.statewatch.org