Friday, 19 September 2008

EU ministers for agriculture agree to terror list (updated)

German news source Spiegel.de reports that during the EU Council meeting on 15 July 2008, the ministers for agriculture agreed on a new terror list.

The item was not for discussion or for vote and was just passed silently by the ministers. I was trying to find the agenda, but since the EU Council document search is very impractical, I was unable to find something useful.

The new list includes, acording to Spiegel.de, the Iranian resistance groups PMOI, for which there are no official proves of actually being a terrorist organisation.

But luckily for all humans affected by the list, it were the ministers for agriculture who decided on the future of their lives...

Update:

Please look into the comments to this article to get the hints to the respective documents. Brussels Blogger informed about the official publication of that list and I could, with some more digging, find the respective draft agenda - and the "A" items (those without discussion) - of the 15 July Council meeting where the decisions were foreseen.

4 comments:

Brussels Blogger said...

What you mean is probably this list, published on 16/07/2008 in the Official Journal of the EU:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:188:0021:01:EN:HTML

It includes:

19. "Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation" — "MEK" or "MKO", excluding the "National Council of Resistance of Iran" — "NCRI" (a.k.a. "The National Liberation Army of Iran" — "NLA" (the militant wing of the "MEK"), a.k.a. the "People's Mujahidin of Iran" — "PMOI", a.k.a. "Muslim Iranian Student's Society")

Julien Frisch said...

Thanks for providing this hint!

Actually, I was looking for the agenda of the Council meeting where I could find the agenda point on that question. Since it was not in the provisional agenda, I had to digg deaper into the the provisional "A" items where I could finally find it under agenda point 19.

Not the most transparent way of taking such decisions...

I know that it's the usual practice that these issues are dealt with without discussions by different Council configurations, but it is still strange to see such things like a terror list agreed upon by a secret committee to be formally adopted - without discussion - by the ministers for agriculture.

Brussels Blogger said...

I fully agree with you, see also my article on going even further: publishing the minutes of COREPER

What I would be interested in: how are such justice/security/external relation matters dealt with in EU member states? Are there examples of well working, transparent government web sites that deal with such issues?

Julien said...

From my limited personal experience in that field and from the few scientific insights available on that question I can only say that it depends pretty much on the member state how much internal coordination is involved.

In some states, even parliamentary committees have to be consulted before a minister can take a decision in a Council meeting (I think I heard this in the Swedish parliament). In other countries, this is limited to the foreign ministries and/or the respective departments in the general ministries concerned.

I have also heard that the German government has an information database where everyone working with EU Council matters can have access to the full documentation. How far these access rights are spread is unclear.

When it comes to the public documentation, I am rather sceptical; I am not at all aware of a proper presentation of information related to EU Council matters.