De Europese Groenen vragen dat de vergaderingen van de Raad, het machtigste wetgevend orgaan van de Unie, voor het publiek worden opengesteld. Dat is nu al zo voor de bijeenkomsten van het Europees Parlement. Ook de Europese Ombudsman heeft er al op aangedrongen dat de Raad open vergaderingen houdt wanneer hij zich toelegt op wetgevend werk.
Opening Council Debates
Closed door dealings must be rammed open
The European Parliament today endorsed a call by Green MEP David Hammerstein for the Council to open its meetings to the public. Following the vote on his report David Hammerstein said:
"It is high time that the EU's most important law-making body ended its practise of meeting behind closed doors. What is there to hide? With European leaders bent on deliberating in private, it is no wonder citizens feel alienated from the EU.
"The Council cannot continue to ignore the recommendations by the European Ombudsman that it open its doors to the public when meeting in a legislative capacity. It reflects poorly on the democratic credentials of the EU. Given all deliberations in the Parliament are public, it smacks of inconsistency that the Council continues to meet in private, especially in areas of codecision.
"While the Member State's decision, in December 2005, to open limited sections of its legislative meetings was a step in the right direction, this fell far short of what is required. The ombudsman recommended that the Council change its rules of procedure, so that it meets in public whenever it is acting as a legislator. It is a poor reflection on the Council's commitment to transparency that it cannot muster up the simple majority needed to make this change.
"One way to kick-start the process would be by opening debates on important EU issues, like the Services Directive or EU energy policy, to the public. If European citizens were able to follow high-profile discussions between EU ministers and heads of government, it could only help to erode the distance they feel from Brussels."