WOB value

European Union

 
31/05
2012

OPEN LETTER Don't do this to the citizens!

Finland and Sweden increases the pressure on the Danish presidency. In an open letter to this website two ministers of justice urge the presidency to stick to the Lisbon treaty, and not even table proposals for less transparency.

The letter headlined ”True friends of transparency?” (note the question mark) is directed to the European Parliament, the public at large and not the least the Danish presidency (see Documents).
Swedish minister of justice Beatrice Ask (conservative) and Finnish minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (liberal) express deep concern on how the their Danish colleague, minister of European Affairs Nicolai Wammen (social democrat) so far has handled negotiations on rules on public access to documents held by the EU institutions.
The mandate to negotiate given by the Council majority would, not doubt, lead to less transparency, according to the two ministers.
Needless to say, our countries did not support the text, they add.

The open letter comes at a crucial time in the process as the the presidency tries to strike a deal before its time has run out.
On Friday June 1 member countries' press attaches and civil servants will meet on a working group level in order to discuss yet another mandate to be endorsed by the EU-ambassadors next week.
The Swedish and the Finnish minister now fear that the situation might go from bad to worse.
On this background they write:
”The Lisbon Treaty clearly demands more transparency in the EU, and especially so in legislative procedures. A second given would be that in today’s Europe of turbulence and disappointment European decision-­makers would
hurry to do what they can in order to enhance citizen trust and participation.”

The letter ends with a hard punch at the presidency:
”We trust that Denmark and the EP will see to it that no such proposal is even put on the table.”
And then comes a final rhetorical question:
”Who's with us?”

The Danish minister Nicolai Wammen has previously commented the negotiations in general terms in a written statement.
In his comment he wrote:
”If we succeed in getting a result, this will mean that Denmark has made sure that openness in all EU institutions will be secured for the future to the benefit of all citizens and enterprises in daily touch with the EU-cooperation.”
Nicolai Wammen has so far not commented directly to the earlier appeal from the Swedish minister Ask, and has chosen not to take direct questions from journalists on this subject.

The letter can be read and downloaded under Documents.

 

 

Staffan Dahllöf

 
 
 
 

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