Monday, April 23, 2007

More EU hypocrisy

The watchdog Statewatch has lodged two complaints with the European Ombudsman concerning the European Commission’s failure to implement its own regulation on public access to documents (1049/2001)



Nikiforos Diamandouros, European Ombudsman

This is a well intentioned step by Statewatch but merely in keeping with the activities of such truly Eurosceptic (i.e. critical and reformist rather than opposed) organisations which in fact impliedly support the EU and its constituent institutions without coming to the realisation they are terminally corrupt, intentionally unaccountable and permanently unreformable. In short, Statewatch is naïve.

The basis of Statewatch’s complaint is that the European Commission failed to maintain a proper public register of documents with only a fraction of those produced listed and failed to publish its annual report on access to documents for 2005 in the year 2006.

This is rather ironic as the UK and other members states’ Freedom of Information legislation was enforced by the European Commission, not that this is widely known.

The preamble to the regulation makes interesting reading as it contains fundamentally conflicting objects.

The second subparagraph of Article 1 of the Treaty on European Union enshrines the concept of openness, stating that the Treaty marks a new stage in the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen.

Openness enables citizens to participate more closely in the decision-making process and guarantees that the administration enjoys greater legitimacy and is more
effective and more accountable to the citizen in a democratic system. Openness contributes to strengthening the principles of democracy and respect for fundamental
rights as laid down in Article 6 of the EUTreaty and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Openness? Presumably this is the same oppenness proclaimed by Angela Merkel in the recent Declaration on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the signature of the Treaties of Rome.

It is not clear to which state citizenship refers, the EU as a supra-national superstate in the making, the residual member states and what rights appertain. We find the unashamed mention of the ever closer union upon which the British and many other nations have not voted and an Aesopian mention of democracy, which is certainly not of the Parliamentary kind with its notions of the people holding their government accountable through elections. Our government is now the European Commission and it is unaccountable and talk of transparency is merely manipulation and Luciferian fog, while the EC green paper seeks to undermine and reinterpret their own regulations as noted by Statewatch in their briefing notes (click here)

So much for a progressive future under the EU and so much for Statewatch as a pressure group.

Further reading
Freedom of Information in the European Union (Statewatch)

European Parliament’s recommendations

The European Commission’s green paper

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