Press Release, 31 January 2007

Mama Merkel Keeps Sherpas Secret

JEF demands publication of Sherpa List

, by JEF Europe

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Mama Merkel Keeps Sherpas Secret

The European citizens are being excluded from one of the most important political processes in the EU. The list of high level bureaucrats (“Sherpas”) who will negotiate the road ahead for the Constitutional Treaty is being kept secret by the German government. JEF-Europe (Young European Federalists) strongly condemns Angela Merkel’s way of handling the debate on the future Europe.

“This is a threat to the democratic process of the EU. The list needs to be published” demands Jan Seifert, president of JEF Europe.

Jan Seifert explains “The system with Sherpa consultations is a contradiction to the strive to make EU more transparent and democratic. During the spring, several negotiations will take place, dealing mainly with the crucial issue of the future of the Constitution. Who is taking part in these negotiations is being kept secret to the European public.”

The Sherpa consultations are probably the most intransparent process possible. Trust in the constitutional processes can only be gained again if it is fully open and accessible. Parliaments, national as well as the European one, must be involved. Parliamentarians and NGOs alike need access to these Sherpas”, Jan Seifert states.

JEF Europe suggests the Sherpas also liaise with stakeholders and NGOs, working on institutional issues on European level. European NGOs such as JEF, the Union for European Federalists (UEF) and European Movement International (EMI), play an important role in this process. Such stakeholders should be consulted on the issue of the Constitution, just as business is being involved when it comes to new European industrial policies.

“It is unacceptable that the German government refuses to make the list of Sherpas public. JEF Europe therefore demands an immediate publication of the names”, says Jan Seifert. This view is also shared in the Commission by Vice-President Wallström as she explained in a question by Seifert at a stakeholder meeting with President Barroso on 23rd January.

A preliminary list of known Sherpa names is available on Jan Seifert’s blog under



- Secretive Angela, source: Flickr

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