Volume 50 (2013)

Volume 50 (2013) / Issue 2

Deirdre Curtin, 'Official secrets and the negotiation of international agreements: Is the EU executive unbound?' (2013) 50 Common Market Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 423–457


Supranational executive power is mutating at the level of the EU political system through a growing array of institutions, (new) agencies and other actors who exercise in one way or another executive powers. One of the less visible though no less crucial executive powers is the management of access to official information. At the supranational level we have seen a growth in specific secrecy arrangements. An important way for building those secrecy arrangements is through the establishment of systems of classification of documents. These security rules have received little academic attention, both in terms of the legal framework and in terms of the empirical practice. This article aims to fill that gap in the existing literature by examining the intersection of internal institutional "security" rulemaking by the plural EU executive with legislative and Treaty requirements and in particular with parliamentary and public oversight mechanisms applied specifically to recent practice of negotiations on international agreements. Do the existing legal and political responses in the area of the negotiation of international agreements in particular indicate the existence of robust checks and balances by the EP to counteract the internal rulemaking power of the executive in the context of the EU? Is the EU executive "unbound" in a more general sense or adequately held in check by the EP in collaboration with other oversight institutions and the public?

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ISSN: 0165-0750
ID: COLA2013055