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The Effect of Interinstitutional Transparency Rules beyond the Treaties

Gijs Jan Brandsma

Over the past decades, transparency of European policy making has been high on the political agenda. Most attention is paid to public access to documents and otherinformation, be it in terms of the scope of access to documents regulations or the degree to which transparency is a necessary prerequisite for the democraticfunctioning of the European institutions. Although transparency towards the general public has unquestionably increased since the entry into force of the Maastrichttreaty, a parallel trend of increasing transparency towards other European institutions has seemingly been overlooked. Compared to the number of public transparencyrequirements of the Commission, Council and Parliament, the number of interinstitutional requirements is vast.This paper presents an overview of these interinstitutional transparency rules, which for the most part are not mentioned in the Treaties but rather are hidden in the rulesof procedure of the institutions, or in informal agreements between them. The analysis shows that the application of these interinstitutional transparency rules has amassive impact on the day-to-day functioning of the European Union, even to the degree of fundamentally altering the division of powers that is provided for in theTreaties.

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