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    Parliamentarians urge EU to become more transparent

    Eurogroup meeting in the Europa building

    Three Dutch parliamentarians sent Monday a glass box containing recommendations to make the EU more transparent to Eurogroup President Mário Centeno.
    An explanatory letter was also sent to the presidents of the various European institutions. The letter was also signed by two Belgians: MP Peter Luyks (N-VA) and Senate President Christine Defraigne (MR).

    Centeno chaired yesterday(19 February) the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels with the 19 finance ministers in the euro area. In the second part of the meeting, the ministers of 27 EU member states participated.

    National parliaments complain that the Council of the European Union, where ministers from the Member States meet to discuss and adopt news laws, are too often “black boxes” and that the way negotiations are conducted and agendas set lack transparency.

    The parliamentarians requested that official documents relating to these meetings should be made public as quickly as possible. They further argued that the Eurogroup should have a formal character. Although it is of major importance in economic policy-making, the monthly meetings of the Euro area finance ministers are currently still informal.

    A call for more transparency in the EU decision-making process was also launched last week by the European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly. She invited all EU Member States to make their positions public in order to be more transparent in their decision-making process.

    The Ombudsman specifically criticises the Council’s failure  to record the identity of Member States taking positions during discussions on draft legislation. She has found that the current lack of transparency in the Council’s legislative process constitutes maladministration.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times