Will Croatian EU Presidency boost transparency in the Council of the EU?

An open letter to the Croatian Government

On 1 January 2020, the Croatian Government will take over from Finland as the next President of the Council of the EU, the legislative body of EU member states. This is a key role which drives the agenda of the Council and steers member states through complex legislative negotiations. 

Now civil society from Croatia and across the EU is demanding that the new Presidency takes urgent action to promote legislative transparency and to tackle corporate capture.

Coordinated by Croatian NGO GONG, and Corporate Europe Observatory, we have urged the Croatian Presidency to:

  • Become a champion for legislative transparency in the Council by actively supporting existing reform efforts, proactively publishing Council legislative documents, and publishing minutes of Council working party meetings.
  • Publish all lobby meetings held by the Croatian Permanent Representation, refusing to meet with any group not included in the EU lobby transparency register, and publishing all meetings by Croatian Government ministers on EU matters during the Presidency.

  • Initiate a debate in the Council about reducing the influence of big business interests on both EU and national policy-making, and committing to keeping all dealings with fossil fuel lobbyists to an absolute minimum.

  • Refuse to accept any corporate sponsorship for its Presidency, and seek agreement at the Council level that this practice will be fully discontinued by those that follow.

  • Show leadership by publishing its proposed positions on new EU laws and policies before they are discussed at Council meetings, to enable scrutiny by citizens and national parliamentarians.

You can read the letter in English and Croatian here.


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