The Council of the European Union: 27 Governments. 150 committees. Unnamed diplomats. Secret negotiations. Thousands of paragraphs written into the laws that govern our lives. That is why we follow the Council’s proceedings closely, reporting on which governments are blocking or watering down legislative proposals, and with whom they are in league.

When newspapers and television stations report on EU legislation, it is usually about debates in the European Parliament or the summits of Heads of State and Government. Sometimes the media also mention that the responsible ministers from the EU Member States must somehow reach an agreement before a draft law can become EU-wide law.

But mostly citizens never find out exactly who are the people negotiating the paragraphs of hundreds of laws that govern all our lives every year, and who has taken which position. This ignorance is by no means accidental. The fact is that the bulk of the European Union’s legislation takes place behind closed doors. The Secrets of The Council project take you inside.

What is this about?

Secrets of the Council is a long-form, ongoing investigation. In it, our journalists expose the secrecy of EU lawmaking.