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Ombudsman congratulates Dutch EU Presidency on transparency steps

Statement of the European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly

As the Dutch Presidency of the Council draws to a close, I would like to congratulate the Dutch government and its civil servants for their commitment to increasing EU transparency, through a series of small but important steps during its six-month tenure.

Meeting schedules of Dutch ambassadors in Brussels have been published, there have been some good initiatives and events on ‘open data’, and the Presidency budget will now be published. They also put transparency issues on the agenda of Ministerial meetings for discussion, an important move given the reluctance[1] of some Member States to engage with these matters.

These measures complement President Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s transparency proposals for the Eurogroup, a body whose decisions affect millions of Europeans. I welcome President Dijsselbloem's willingness to consider suggestions for further improvement.

Slovakia will now take over the Presidency. I have no doubt but that its government and civil servants are working hard to prepare for the next six months and I hope that Slovakia will continue the excellent work of the Dutch in relation to transparency.

In these difficult times, the significance of keeping such issues on the political agenda of the Council of Ministers should not be underestimated. They go to the heart of the connection between the citizen and the institutions of the European Union.

 

[1] Non-paper on enhancing transparency in the EU

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