Transparency in the EU Council of Ministers: An Institutional Analysis

20 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2013

See all articles by Maarten Hillebrandt

Maarten Hillebrandt

University of Amsterdam; 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: January 2014

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 European Parliament.

Suggested Citation

Hillebrandt, Maarten and Hillebrandt, Maarten and Curtin, Deirdre M. and Curtin, Deirdre M. and Meijer, Albert, Transparency in the EU Council of Ministers: An Institutional Analysis (January 2014). European Law Journal, Vol. 20, Issue 1, pp. 1-20, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2367072 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eulj.12051

Maarten Hillebrandt (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Amsterdam Centre of European Law and Governance
Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://acelg.uva.nl

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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