The image of unelected bureaucrats making secret deals in smoke-filled rooms has gained traction in recent years, fueling populist resentment towards the European Union.
Although exaggerated, these claims are not entirely unfounded. As we explore in this Special Report, EU legislation is conceived in darkness, gestated in sunlight, and then returns to darkness for its birth.
Compared to the national governments of the member states, the European Union is ahead of the curve when it comes to transparency, former Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner told EURACTIV in an interview. But improvements are still badly needed.
Danuta Hübner is a centre-right member of the European Parliament from Poland who chairs the constitutional affairs …
Understanding of EU lawmaking among lobbyists and journalists has declined as the processes themselves have become more complex, to the point of making Brussels "a land of incompetence", experts said at a seminar on Monday (27 November).
MEPs want to tell the world what happens in their negotiations with member states over proposed legislation, but the EU’s national capitals are resisting. Why do governments have an impulse to hide what they do in Brussels?
Over time, the business of influence has been honed into a fine art in Western democracies. But that art is becoming increasingly regulated, even if the average citizen perceives lobbyists as cigar-smoking men in suits wining and dining lawmakers to gain an unfair advantage.
EU laws go through a roller-coaster of opacity, with lawmaking only becoming visible in some parts of the process. But a new regime could extend this transparency from conception to birth.