Vergaderingen Raad van Ministers voorlopig niet openbaar na weerstand Europees Parlement en Franse regering (en)
Auteur: | By Lucia Kubosova
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The UK plan to open EU ministers' debates to the public appears to be off the agenda for the moment following French reservations and MEPs' reluctance to back the idea.
The British EU presidency has tabled plans to allow TV cameras in meeting rooms of the EU ministers, and allow the public to watch most debates about pending laws.
But French officials have expressed fears about the efficiency of the council - the main EU's decision-making body - if such a move was taken, pointing out that sensitive issues would then be discussed in the corridors or among civil servants, Financial Times reports.
The initiative now seems likely to be postponed for a few months, possibly until at least the second half of 2006 when Finland chairs the EU.
The European Parliament, usually loudly critical about the secretive talks in the council, has also showed little support for the idea.
The declaration calling for the public meetings - put forward by British MEPs from five different political groups - has not yet been signed by enough deputies to see the light of day.
The document needs 367 signatures to be adopted, but it had only attracted 207 MEPs by Monday (5 December), which is the deadline for the initiative.