The European Parliament recently introduced new internal rules concerning transparency in its interaction with “interest representatives”. The changes entered into force on 11 February 2019.
COMECE supports transparency of EU institutions, allowing citizens to better assess processes leading to the laws governing them. This is key to accountability and exemplarity, especially in view of the May 2019 EU Elections.
The new rule, which oblige Rapporteurs, Shadow Rapporteurs and Committee chairs to publish online all scheduled meetings with “interest representatives” (“legislative footprint”), is seen as a positive step towards a stronger binding transparency.
The adoption of this provision makes the law-making process clearer, and therefore intends to reinforce the legitimacy of the Parliament. Equally positive is the new provision encouraging all MEPs to take similar measures.
Another new rule provides that only “interest representatives” registered in the Transparency Register may participate in Intergroup or other unofficial grouping activities organised at the Parliament.
This provision should not prevent citizens and their organisations from entering into dialogue with their own elected representatives, especially the informal sector and the most vulnerable members of society.
To strengthen the democratic process, COMECE supports the idea that the transparency burden should be primally placed on public officials rather than on citizens and civil society’s organisations.