Skip to main content

European Working Groups

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress with achieving transparency in respect of the European working groups for which the Department is responsible. [105732]

The Government have long been committed to greater openness in the EU Institutions. This was a key theme of the UK Presidencies in 1992 and 1998. Making it easier to gain access to non-sensitive documents is crucial to this. The Government welcomed Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. As a result, more documents are released to the public, while genuinely sensitive documents are given the protection they need.Accountability and transparency of Council business to Parliament are ensured by the scrutiny process, to which the Government are also firmly committed.We strongly supported the measures agreed at the Seville European Council to make the Council more open when in legislating mode. We remain committed to increasing transparency. The Future of Europe Convention is also looking at ways to make the EU more open.