statewatch-off on 7 Sep 2000 14:17:52 -0000

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<nettime> European Parliament to take EU Council to court over new secrecy rules?

European Parliament to take the EU Council to court? MEP's 
demand action

The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EP) will 
decide at its next meeting (13 September) whether to recommend 
that the Parliament takes legal action against the Council of the 
EU over its decision to change the code of public access to 

The decision was rushed through the Council structure by "written
procedure" - a decision-making process rarely used for contraversial
measures. It was based on proposals from Javier Solana, the 
former head of NATO who is now Secretary-General of the EU. It 
imposes greater secrecy in the fields of foreign policy, military and 
non-military crisis management.

The measure has attracted widespread criticism, with the European
Federation of Journalists declaring the decision a "NATO-backed
declaration of war on open government". 

"We all recognise the need for secrecy when lives are at risk, but 
this new code goes much further and introduces a broad brush of 
definitions that are unclear and will contaminate many non-military 
documents," said Aidan White of the EFJ. 

All the policy developments, with comprehensive full-text 
documentation, can be found on the Statewatch website:

Statewatch: monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe
tel: 0044-20-8802-1882 fax: 0044-20-8880-1727
PO Box 1516, London. N16 0EW. UK

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