July 1, 2008
The Open Europe blog raises a point that I am sure has been discussed before. While I don’t agree with the tone of the post I think the idea to publish all minutes of COREPER is an interesting one. It is there where member state’s ambassadors to the EU prepare and take decisions. When tomorrow the 27 ambassadors of the EU member states meet in Brussels we will not see a lot of press reports, maybe even none at all. The weekly meetings of COREPER are not public and there are no press conferences.
It’s time to change this. The move from behind-the-door compromises to public confrontation will not be an easy transition, but it is do-able. European citizens need to know what their representatives in Brussels proposed and voted on.
While live streaming of Council meetings has been a topic in recent years, I don’t think that it represents a viable solution for COREPER, where ambassadors still need to feel that they can discuss among them without every single word beeing re-produced by media. But publishing the agenda and minutes – and why not monthly briefings by member states to the press – are certainly something that could improve a lot the visibility of “Brussels” and EU decision making.
An example of the agenda for a COREPER meeting shows that you still need some inside knowledge to understand what exactly will be discussed. But the European Parliament’s legislative tracker and the plenary sessions documents show that a lot can be done to link relevant items instead of simply providing the document reference.
Background information: Rules of procedure of the Council of the European UnionAuthor : brusselsblogger