Better late than never: the Council will go public?
The Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) welcome the announcement of the UK Presidency that the meetings of the Council of the European Union will from now on be held in public.
"It's quite a scandal that we have had to wait until 2005. The secret meetings were an anomaly that we have long been campaigning against, but national politicians have resisted out of pragmatism," stated Jon Worth, the President of JEF-Europe.
"We have to realize that this is a major improvement of how the EU works, which everyone should support. The Council has for far too long worked behind closed doors, hidden from the scrutinity of the public. Hopefully this move will help change how people perceive the EU."
"Maybe the French and Duth referendum results have made heads of state sit up and listen!"
Opening the Council meetings has long been one of the demands of JEF-Europe, together with greater powers being given to the European Parliament, improved accoutability of European Commission and election of its President by the European Parliament.
"The European Constitution would have opened up Council meetings, but we commend the UK Presidency for putting this matter on the table now. It's not a question of institutions, but one of political will," commented Jon Worth.
"But this is only a start. We need to go far further to make a real EU of the citizens."