It is not only Germany that has a problem with intransparency - the EU also has some catching up to do. A large part of political decisions are not made in parliament, but in secret meetings between the institutions. That is why we are launching our campaign "Black Box EU" to shed light on European legislation.
In the EU, Parliament, Commission and Council jointly decide on laws and directives such as the GDPR, climate protection targets or regulations on Frontex. In order to reach an agreement, representatives of the institutions meet in so-called trilogues, where they negotiate a compromise. What exactly is discussed in these meetings remains secret.
With "Black Box EU", citizens can easily submit a pre-formulated request under the European Freedom of Information Act and thus free the 4-column-documents of the trilogues. These documents record the positions of the Parliament, the Commission and the Council as well as the compromise reached. They are thus a central part of the decision-making process. The publication of the documents enables democratic accountability and critical reporting.
EU institutions do not keep to their own goals
The demand to publish 4-column documents and make trilogues more transparent is by no means new. Already in 2014, the European Parliament proposed it to itself. In 2016, the European Ombudsman demanded it. In 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that the documents could be published.
However, almost nothing has happened: the EU has been working for four years now to create its own database in which relevant documents of the legislative process are to be published. While the first draft of the concept paper still provided for the publication of "summary agendas after each trilogue", these have since been dropped from the plan. Instead, only the final compromise is to be published in the case of successfully concluded negotiations. The actual negotiations remain under lock and key.
As long as the institutions refuse to publish key documents of their decision-making, we as civil society have to help out. Make a request now and help us to ensure more transparency!