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Transparency


The joint European Parliament Commission Secretariat of the Register has launched a public consultation in June till 31 August. This consultation is an opportunity for civil society to highlight the importance of having a meaningful transparency register for public policy making. This initiative also helps citizens to understand who is trying to influence EU policy-making.

These meetings and the consultation will be done in view of drafting the first annual report on how the register operated during the 1st year. This is a separate process from the review of the register which shall take place in 2013. The contributions will be analysed after the summer and the annual report should be finalised afterwards.

The CSCG and Alter EU developed guidelines for registering for NGOs the CSCG encourages NGOs to use the guidelines which call for higher standards of transparency  when filling in the Transparency Register.

The Parliament Library produced a briefing uses CSCG-ALTER EU crticisims of the register in its analysis.

The CSCG developed a common Consultation response.

 

 

Who gets Community funding? What influence do lobbies have? What rules of conduct do those in charge of the European institutions have to follow? These questions have been at the heart of the debate on transparency since the discussion was launched by EU Commissioner Kallas in March 2005.

 

The EU Civil Society Contact Group supports efforts to improve transparency in interest representation towards the EU institutions. In December 2007 the European Commission opened a consultation on a draft code of conduct for interest representative, one part of the European Transparency Initiative. The proposed code of conduct for interest representatives however is weak and unlikely to improve the current situation. In the hope that the Commission will improve on the draft code, the Civil Society Contact Group has put together in its contribution to the consultation a series of remarks on the proposed code and the framework in which it is presented:

  • the following elements should be addressed in the code: conflicts of interest, improper influence, misrepresentation, financial inducements, employment of former EU officials
  •  an independent monitoring body to deal with complaints, including for citizens and public interest organizations, with the ability to start own initiative investigations should be set up
  • EU officials who witness that interest representatives are breaching the code, should have a formal duty to report such breaches

Furthermore

  • the wording of the code should also reflect the realities of public interest groups
  • the code should also apply to individual lobbyists in order to enhance a sense of personal responsibility and integrity
  • all interest representatives who wish to be included in the register and lobby the EU institutions should sign on to the same code
  • submission of inaccurate information and breaches of the code should be publicly announced
  • the code should be drafted so that it could function, at a later stage, as a single code of conduct for all institutions especially for the European Commission and the European Parliament

Find here the Civil Society Contact Group contribution to the consultation on a code of conduct for interest representatives.

On April 18 2007 the Commission launched a green paper (http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/revision/docs/gp_en.pdf) that initiated the review of the regulation on public access to documents held by institutions of the European Community. The green paper forms part of the European transparency initiative (ETI). It opened a consultation period that lasts until the end of July 2007.

  

Find a briefing on the green paper here.

Find the Civil Society Contact Group response to the consultation here.

 

ALTER-EU (The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation) and the Civil Society Contact Group on July 12  2007 organized a workshop on the Europeans Transparency Initiative (ETI). The purpose of the workshop was to provide Brussels based NGOs with an update on the ETI, more specifically on the code of conduct for interest representatives and the register for interest representatives. Over 25 representatives of a wide range of organisations participated in the meeting.

 

Find the workshop proceedings here.

 

Responding to the consultation on the Green Paper on transparency in summer 2006, the Civil Society Contact Group presented common positions on the three key dimensions covered by the Green Paper:

 

Transparency and interest representation, where it calls for equal rules to be applied to all lobbyists, while stressing their diversity and keeping an open door to less established organisations. In particular, the Contact Groups calls for enhanced ethical rules and reinforced information on the background of lobbyists.

 

Minimum Standards for Consultation, in which it sets recommendation on how to improve the way EU institutions, and in particular the European Commission, consults with civil society.

 

Transparency over the recipients of EU funds, the Civil Society Contact Group calling for full transparency over the use of EU funds, as a way to strengthen citizens' trust in the EU.

 

A number of Contact Group members and members of the network have responded to the consultation, amongst others the Green 10, Social Platform, EPAH, Greenpeace, Action Aid, CEDAG, NCVO. All their contributions can be found on: http://ec.europa.eu/comm/eti/contributions.htm.

 

Find the latest Civil Society Contact Group a briefing on the follow-up to the Transparency initiative here.


 

 

 

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