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EU takes important steps to improve transparency

At the meeting of the General Affairs Council on 24 June in Luxembourg, Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders looked back at the steps taken by the EU under the Netherlands Presidency to improve transparency.
RAZ 24 juni

Making documents public

A transparent European Union requires a joint effort by European institutions and member states. One way of increasing transparency is for documents currently available only to government officials from the member states to be made public as soon as possible, and to minimise the number of documents classified in this way. The Netherlands also organised Diplohacks and an Unconference: innovative ways of working with stakeholders to generate ideas for a more transparent Europe.

Better governance

It is now a matter of putting what has been agreed concerning better governance into practice as quickly as possible, by setting up a joint database and a register of delegated acts and through more transparency on trilogues. The Netherlands set a good example by publishing its budget for the Presidency and selected items from the calendars of its Permanent Representative, Deputy Permanent Representative and PSC ambassador.

Priorities for EU in 2017

The GAC also discussed the EU’s priorities for 2017, for the first time exercising its influence over the Commission’s work programme, which puts it on an equal footing with the European Parliament. Preparations for the European Council meeting at the end of this month were also discussed. The Council will from now on actively monitor how agreements reached by the European Council are followed up, a practice started during the Netherlands Presidency.