The Council of the European Union is often described as the least transparent of the three big EU institutions although steps have been taken to improve the transparency of its activities during the last couple of decades. This article focuses on the Council’s press officers who provide journalists with information and thereby act as day-to-day facilitators of transparency of the Council’s activities. Although these communicators see themselves as contributing substantially to the transparency of the Council’s work and thereby as enabling the media to provide EU citizens with information about one of the most powerful political forums in Europe, transparency in the Council has its limits. This study explores institutional factors which hinder Council press officers from being as transparent as journalists would like them to be. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with Council press officers, participant observation and document analysis provided the data for the study.
Journalism, 2013, Vol 14, Issue 6, p. 771-789
Council of the European Union; General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union; government communication; transparency; media relations; journalists; press officers