Tomorrow, the European Commission will present a proposal for reform of the EU institutions. POLITICO reported today in advance that the proposal on the EU’s ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ envisages the candidate „who first obtains a majority in the European Council and then in the European Parliament in accordance with the Treaty“ to be elected President of the European Commission. In addition, the EU Ombudswoman Emily O‘ Reilly today presented a report on the legislative procedures in the Council of the EU. O‘ Reilly demands much more transparency. In particular, it should be made transparent how each member state has positioned itself. She also aims to improve access to documents by declaring fewer documents as „not for circulation“ or „limité“. The Council must respond to the Ombudswoman’s recommendations by May 9.
Sven Giegold, Parliament’s Rapporteur on transparency, accountability and integrity of the EU institutions commented:
“More light must be shed on the back rooms of the EU Council. The Ombudswoman’s demands for more transparency must be discussed and implemented quickly. Democracy thrives on accountability, so it must be clear how national governments position themselves in Brussels. The Council’s lack of transparency is constant grist to the mill of EU opponents. Transparency in decision-making processes and access to more Council documents would significantly strengthen our European democracy. National governments must now face up to the debate. With a constructive response to the Ombudswoman’s recommendations, Member States could also take the wind out of right-wing populists’ sails.
The EU Commission must not transfer the election of the EU Commission President back to the back room. The candidate who has a majority of the EU Parliament behind him or her should become President of the Commission. The European Parliament will not allow being downgraded to rubber-stamp a proposal by the Heads of Government. This is about the credibility of European democracy. The achievement of the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process of the last European elections must not be weakened.“
Press release of the EU Ombudswoman:
Submission to the Ombudswoman of the Green Group‘s priority on ‘Democracy and Transparency’: