Following a detailed inquiry, the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, has found that the Council of the EU – through practices that inhibit the scrutiny of draft EU legislation – undermines citizens’ right to hold their elected representatives to account. This constitutes maladministration. The Ombudsman specifically criticises the Council’s failure systematically to record the identity of Member States taking positions during discussions on draft legislation, and the widespread practice of disproportionately marking documents as not for circulation, or “LIMITE”. The approach falls short of what is expected of the Council in terms of legislative transparency.
The European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, is asking European Council President Donald Tusk to consider publishing information about meetings he and his cabinet hold with interest representatives.
The case concerned the Commission’s handling of an infringement procedure regarding the compliance by the United Kingdom with EU legislation in the area of bus transport. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and the Commission clarified how it was handling the case. Based on the Commission’s clarifications, the Ombudsman closed the inquiry with the finding that the Commission had not committed maladministration.