- Access to documents in the EU Foreign Affairs Council: a logic of transparency or encapsulation?
- 4th Global Conference on Transparency Research
- Book/source title
- Global Conference on Transparency Research: 4-6 June, 2015, Lugano, Switzerland: conference papers
- Lugano: Università della Svizzera Italiana, Institute for Public Communication
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance (ACELG)
A new ‘transparency logic’ seems to have captured institutions around the world in the expectation that this will deliver better governance and lead to more democracy. In the Council of the European Union, a trend towards greater transparency is well-documented. Up until now, however, conclusions about the extent of transparency embeddedness in the Council are drawn at a general level that does not engage with the Council’s complex institutional architecture. This paper considers the case of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC). The FAC’s strong divergence along a number of institutional factors that are expected to be salient for the development of transparency policies makes it a suitable case to establish whether the ‘transparency logic’ is generalisable throughout the Council, or whether pockets exist that are governed by a competing ‘logic of institutional encapsulation’. The case study studies the development of transparency rules and practices between 1992-2014. It is based on 17 interviews with EU foreign policy actors, 9 court cases, descriptive statistics (including 247 appeal decisions) and various regulatory and policy documents. It finds tentative evidence for the dominance of a ‘logic of encapsulation’ that has however, over time, shed some ground to a competing ‘transparency logic’.
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