Journal article:
Transparency of EU informal trilogues through public feedback in the European Parliament : promise unfulfilled

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October 3, 2019
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Abstract
Significant parts of the EU’s legislative process remain shrouded in secrecy. In informal trilogues, representatives of the three main institutions negotiate compromises behind closed doors which are subsequently rubber-stamped in public meetings. While most research on (EU) transparency focuses on the availability of documents, this article investigates how much information on trilogue proceedings is shared with the general public through European Parliament (EP) committee meetings as the only forum to which public account must be rendered during the negotiation process. This article analyses the degree to which trilogues are reported back on, and the quality of feedback provided. Although the EP requires its trilogue negotiators to report back to its committees after each trilogue, the majority of trilogues is not reported back on at all, or not in time. Where feedback is given, its quality is often only poor. The EP thus does not deliver on its promises, which seriously undermines the legitimacy of the EU’s legislative process.
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Subject (DDC)
320 Politics
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Accountability, European Parliament, legitimacy, ordinary legislative procedure, transparency, trilogues
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Journal of European Public Policy ; 26 (2019), 10. - pp. 1464-1483. - ISSN 1350-1763. - eISSN 1466-4429
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Cite This
ISO 690BRANDSMA, Gijs Jan, 2019. Transparency of EU informal trilogues through public feedback in the European Parliament : promise unfulfilled. In: Journal of European Public Policy. 26(10), pp. 1464-1483. ISSN 1350-1763. eISSN 1466-4429. Available under: doi: 10.1080/13501763.2018.1528295
BibTex
@article{Brandsma2019-10-03Trans-45175,
  year={2019},
  doi={10.1080/13501763.2018.1528295},
  title={Transparency of EU informal trilogues through public feedback in the European Parliament : promise unfulfilled},
  number={10},
  volume={26},
  issn={1350-1763},
  journal={Journal of European Public Policy},
  pages={1464--1483},
  author={Brandsma, Gijs Jan}
}
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    <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">Significant parts of the EU’s legislative process remain shrouded in secrecy. In informal trilogues, representatives of the three main institutions negotiate compromises behind closed doors which are subsequently rubber-stamped in public meetings. While most research on (EU) transparency focuses on the availability of documents, this article investigates how much information on trilogue proceedings is shared with the general public through European Parliament (EP) committee meetings as the only forum to which public account must be rendered during the negotiation process. This article analyses the degree to which trilogues are reported back on, and the quality of feedback provided. Although the EP requires its trilogue negotiators to report back to its committees after each trilogue, the majority of trilogues is not reported back on at all, or not in time. Where feedback is given, its quality is often only poor. The EP thus does not deliver on its promises, which seriously undermines the legitimacy of the EU’s legislative process.</dcterms:abstract>
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