The agreement ensures more transparency and openness in the legislation process.
After months of negotiations yesterday agreement was reached in principle between the European Parliament and the Council on the European Parliament’s access to classified information held by the Council.
The agreement will ensure that the European Parliament can exercise the new powers conferred on the Parliament in the Lisbon Treaty, notably regarding negotiations on international agreements.
The final remaining issues were resolved in a meeting yesterday in Strasbourg between MEP Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs, representing the European Parliament and Nicolai Wammen, Danish Minister for European Affairs representing the Council Presidency.
The inter-institutional agreement (IIA) between the European Parliament and the Council sets out arrangements governing the European Parliament’s access to classified information held by the Council which is relevant for the European Parliament to exercise its powers and functions, notably where the Parliament is to be informed, involved, consulted or required to give its consent.
The agreement will be of particular relevance for international agreements. The agreement also ensures that the level of protection afforded to classified information under the European Parliament's security rules will be equivalent to that afforded to classified information under the Council's security rules.
Minister for Europe Nicolai Wammen states:
“This agreement is one of the last remaining issues related to the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, which improved the democratic decision-making of the Union and increased the powers of the European-Parliament, including with regard to international agreements.
I am pleased that we have now reached an agreement that will provide a clear and practical framework for the Parliament’s access to classified information while ensuring that the necessary security requirements are observed.
The negotiations between the Parliament and the Council have been constructive and I would like to commend the Parliament for the level of commitment it has shown with regard to implementing the necessary security measures. I see this as an important step for more transparency and openness giving the European Parliament the necessary tools to fulfill their role as co-legislator.”
The agreement is subject to final approval in the Council and in the European Parliament.