What Legal Regime for Trilogues ? State of Play and Perspectives

Benjamin Bodson

In 2015, the European Ombudsman has launched an own-initiative inquiry aiming at investigating on the transparency of trilogues. The term trilogues refers to a series of informal working meetings existing between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this is where, in the context of the ordinary legislative procedure, the three institutions attempt to come to an agreed position in order to speed up the legislative process. Trilogues are now considered within the EU bubble as a classic and accepted working tool of the co-legislators. Yet their legality in view of the Treaty has never been really questionned. What is left of the ordinary legislative procedure as it is laid down at article 294 TFEU? What legal regime does exist to ensure the transparency of such meetings? How to enforce them? This paper aims at identifying the current legal framework in which trilogues take place and the potential perspectives of development, following the upcoming new interinstitutional agreement on Better Regulation. It aims also at identifying in other legal orders, at national and international levels, examples of interinstitutional committees which present better transparency standards and could, therefore, inspire the EU institutions.(Research Discipline : EU Constitutional Law)

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