Transparency in the Council of Ministers of the EU: An Institutional Approach

European Law Journal, forthcoming (2013, vol. 19, issue 5)

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2012-97

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2012-04

30 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2012 Last revised: 2 Jul 2013

See all articles by Maarten Hillebrandt

Maarten Hillebrandt

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

Deirdre Curtin

European University Institute, Department of Law, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

Albert Meijer

University of Utrecht

Date Written: October 25, 2012

Abstract

The development of access to documents and open meetings provisions by the Council of Ministers of the European Union shows an interesting pattern: before 1992 no formal transparency provisions existed, between 1992 and 2006 formal transparency provisions dramatically increased and since 2006 this increase has come to a halt. This paper aims to enhance our understanding of these shifts by conducting a historical institutional analysis of policy change. As explanatory factors, we consider the preferences and power resources of member states, as well as external catalysts and social structures. We conclude that the current revision deadlock is more stable than the situation before 1992, because now the pro-transparency coalition and transparency-sceptic Council majority have entrenched their positions. Nevertheless, and in spite of Council entrenchment, we expect that Council transparency will continue to develop in the longer term, under the pressure of increasingly influential outside actors, particularly the EP.

Keywords: transparency, European integration, Council of Ministers, institutional analysis

JEL Classification: K19

Suggested Citation

Hillebrandt, Maarten and Curtin, Deirdre M. and Meijer, Albert, Transparency in the Council of Ministers of the EU: An Institutional Approach (October 25, 2012). European Law Journal, forthcoming (2013, vol. 19, issue 5); Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2012-97; Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2012-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2166871 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2166871

Maarten Hillebrandt (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance ( email )

P.O.Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

Deirdre M. Curtin

European University Institute, Department of Law, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.eui.eu/DepartmentsAndCentres/Law/People/Professors/Curtin.aspx

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance ( email )

P.O.Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/d.m.curtin/

Albert Meijer

University of Utrecht

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

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