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EU Council to televise law-making proceedings

[JURIST] In a move to bolster its democratic credentials, the Council of the European Union [official website], the EU's senior decision-making body, will begin to debate and vote more often in public in the new year. Television cameras will be allowed to capture a broad range of council activities beginning in January with test transmissions; internet webcasting of deliberations in the EU's 20 official languages is expected to start in June. Supporters of the initiative urged by the UK presidency [official website] of the Council feel that opening up the EU to more public scrutiny could counter the "Euroscepticism" of many current European Union citizens, especially in the wake of the recent European Constitution [JURIST news archive] debacle. The UK's original proposal would have allowed cameras during all legislative debates barring a specific move to keep a session private. France, along with several other EU members, opposed that plan [JURIST report], fearing that the Council would be unable to operate effectively. A compromise agreement approved last week will allow TV coverage for laws made under the EU's co-decision procedure, in which the European parliament shares power with the Council. It will cover over 40 areas of legislative interest. Monday's Financial Times has more.

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