Sven Giegold

Transparency of EU legislation: Parliament must allow citizens access to trilogue documents without obstacle race

On 22 March the EU’s General Court had ruled, in the case de Capitani v Parliament, that Parliament must in principle grant access, on specific request, to documents relating to ongoing trilogues. Sven Giegold asked Parliament President Tajani now for all 127 ongoing trilogues to publish the 4 column documents pro-actively. These documents contain the positions of Commission, Parliament and Council as well as compromises achieved between them. Short ago, Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee  (JURI) decided not to appeal against this ruling, thereby accepting it finally. Yet, according to our counting, only in 4 out of 127 ongoing Trilogues, 4 column tables have been published following specific requests. In a letter to Parliament’s president Antonio Tajani, Sven Giegold asked to publish all 4 column-documents pro-actively.


MEP Sven Giegold, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on transparency, accountability and integrity commented:

“Parliament should not endanger its standing on transparency and publish all Trilog documents pro-actively. Parliament, as the chamber of EU citizens, has to lead by exemplary transparency. A king’s attitude waiting for citizens to ask for transparency as a favor does not fit our times of online transparency. Public access to trilogue documents should be a pleasant walk, not an obstacle race.

In my over 100 trilogues too often lobbyists representing wealthy interests got hold of negotiation documents even before MEPs did. The EU treaties demand equal attention of EU institutions for all citizens, public online access to legislative documents best demonstrates this equality. With populists stalking us for weaknesses to exploit for their attacks on Europe, we have to champion on European values of democratic transparency.”



Re: transparency of 4-column documents from trilogues


To: President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani


Dear President Tajani,


On 22 March 2018, the EU’s General Court ruled in the case de Capitani v Parliament. The General court decided that the European Parliament must in principle grant access, on specific request, to documents relating to ongoing trilogues. Our own committee of Legal Affairs (JURI) decided now not to appeal against this decision and thereby accepted it. The court case threatened to shed a bad light on our institution that otherwise has been found by Transparency International to be one of the most transparent public institution in all of the EU. Now, the court’s ruling is to be applied in letter and spirit. Yet few 4-column tables of ongoing trilogues have been published. Only in 4 out of 127 ongoing trilogues, according to our counting, Parliament published 4-column documents following specific requests. To honour the citizen’s right of access to documents of ongoing legislative negotiations, I would like to ask you to publish the 4-column documents of all 127 ongoing trilogues pro-actively.


Some colleagues already declared to ask for publication of 4 column documents in dossiers for which they were chosen to represent Parliament. The public might take this as reason to ask for more and more documents in specific requests. Transparency will eventually be achieved either way. Yet, I would like to ask you to use this as a chance for sending a signal: Parliament, as the chamber of citizens, should lead by exemplary transparency.


With kind regards

Sven Giegold


BACKGROUND: where to request documents


The NGO Access Info Europe allows for a simple way to ask for documents from the Parliament:


BACKGROUND: list of ongoing trilogues


PUBLIC 4 column documents exist for these 4 trilogues


Statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations: membership, co-financing

2 tables public


European defence industrial development programme

1 table public


Binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030

5 tables public


Public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents

6 tables public


NO PUBLIC 4 column documents exist for these 123 trilogues


Further macro-financial assistance to Ukraine


European Medicines Agency (EMA): location of the seat


European Banking Authority (EBA): location of the seat


Union Civil Protection Mechanism: prevention; European Civil Protection Pool; rescEU


Internal market in natural gas: pipelines to and from third countries


Statistics of goods transport by inland waterways. Codification


Insolvency proceedings: replacing Annex A to the Regulation


European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice


Centralised system for the identification of Member States holding conviction information on third country nationals and stateless persons (ECRIS-TCN system)


EMIR and ESMA Regulations: procedures and authorities involved for the authorisation of CCPs and requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs


Harmonisation of gross national income (GNI) at market prices


Interoperability of electronic road toll systems and facilitating cross-border exchange of information on the failure to pay road fees in the Union. Recast


Safeguarding competition in air transport


Use of vehicles hired without drivers for the carriage of goods by road


New heavy-duty vehicles: monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption


European Solidarity Corps


European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR): clearing obligation, reporting requirements, risk-mitigation techniques, trade repositories


Single digital gateway to provide information, procedures, assistance and problem solving services


Empowering competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market


Convention Area of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO): management, conservation and control measures


European business statistics


Protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work: limit values and skin notations


Respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications


Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and the free movement of such data


Countering money laundering by criminal law


Controls on cash entering or leaving the Union


Mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders


Common rules for the operation of air services in the Community: technical adaptation


Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters


Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of border checks


Use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) for the return of illegally staying third country nationals


Proportionality test before adoption of new regulation of professions


European services e-card and related administrative facilities


Legal and operational framework of the European services e-card


Adapting a number of legal acts to Articles 290 and 291 TFEU (Commission delegated and implementing acts)


Adapting a number of legal acts in the area of justice to Article 290 TFEU (Commission delegated acts)


Services in the internal market: notification procedure for authorisation schemes and requirements related to services


Environmental reporting: procedural rules


Spirit drinks: definition, presentation and labelling; use of names in the presentation and labelling of other foodstuffs; protection of geographical indications


Integrated farm statistics


Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. Recast


Energy performance of buildings


Common rules for the internal market in electricity. Recast


Internal market for electricity. Recast


European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators. Recast


Risk-preparedness in the electricity sector


Energy efficiency


Governance of the energy union


Framework for the recovery and resolution of central counterparties


European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS): Europol tasks


European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS)


Union regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items. Recast


European Electronic Communications Code. Recast


Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications


Copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes


Financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union: simplification


European statistics relating to persons and households


European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)


European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound)


European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)


Multi-annual plan for demersal stocks in the North Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks


2030 climate and energy framework: inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry


Union resettlement framework


Common procedure for international protection in the Union


Qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection and content of the protection granted


Reception of applicants for international protection. Recast


Prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing: transparency of financial transactions and of corporate entities


Conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly skilled employment


Audiovisual media services: changing market realities


Third countries whose nationals are subject to or exempt from a visa requirement: Kosovo


Criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person. Recast


Eurodac system for the comparison of fingerprints of applicants for international protection and for identifying illegally staying third-country nationals or stateless persons; requests for the comparison with Eurodac data. Recast


European Union Agency for Asylum


Disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches


Making available on the market of CE marked fertilising products


Conservation of fishery resources and protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures


Posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services


Approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers


European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS): exchange of information on third country nationals


Contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods


Contracts for the supply of digital content


Accessibility requirements for products and services


Common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency


Packaging and packaging waste: resource efficiency. Circular economy package


Waste: resource efficiency. Circular economy package


Landfill of waste: resource efficiency. Circular economy package


End-of-life vehicles; batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators; waste electrical and electronic equipment: resource efficiency. Circular economy package


International protection: EU common list of safe countries of origin


Possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory


Veterinary medicinal products


Medicinal products for human use: authorisation and supervision


Medicated feed: manufacture, placing on the market and use


International protection: Member State responsible for examining the application of unaccompanied minors


Organic production and labelling of organic products


Touring visa


Union Code on Visas (Visa Code). Recast


Structural measures improving the resilience of EU credit institutions


Reduction of pollutant emissions from road vehicles


Cloning of animals of the bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine and equine species kept and reproduced for farming purposes


Union legal framework for customs infringements and sanctions


New psychoactive substances


EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust)


Aerodromes, air traffic management and air navigation services: simplifying and clarifying the legal framework


Implementation of the Single European Sky. Recast


Protection against dumped or subsidised imports from countries not members of the European Community


Air transport: enforcement of passenger rights; air carrier liability limits


Consumer product safety


Market surveillance of products


Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy: aligning the Regulation with the TFEU (Commission delegated and implementing powers)


Gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges


Conservation of fishery resources through technical measures: alignment of the Regulation with the TFEU (Commission delegated and implementing powers)


Fishery resources: recovery of the European eel stock; aligning the Regulation with the TFEU (Commission delegated and implementing powers)


Protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein. Recast


Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing: alignment of the Regulation with the TFEU (Commission delegated and implementing powers)


Single Market: simplifying the transfer of motor vehicles registered in another Member State


Fishery resources: recovery of cod stocks, long-term plan; aligning the Regulation with the TFEU (Commission delegated and implementing powers)


Allocation of slots at EU airports: common rules. Recast


Conservation of fishery resources: multi-annual plan for the stock of herring in the west of Scotland


Common European Sales Law


Sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the Mediterranean Sea: alignment of the Regulation with the TFEU (Commission delegated powers)


Fish stock conservation: multiannual plan for the Baltic salmon stock


Car industry: tyres for motor vehicles and their trailers, fitting. Codification


This list of 127 ongoing Trilogues is available online at

with selected search options “procedure type” = “interinstitutional ordinary legislative procedure” AND “procedure status” = “ongoing” AND “key events” = “vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading”


To find those Trilogues with 4 column tables published, you have to search at with a click on “more criteria” for the title of the dossier as “Keyword” and “Register Reference” = “NEGO_CT” (this abbreviation appears in the title of 4 column documents, capital letters are decisive in this search form).