EC launches consultation on Transparency Register
The EC is launching a public consultation on the Transparency Register to gather stakeholder views on a future mandatory system for all EU institutions.
On 1 March, the Commission launched a 12-week public consultation to gather input on the current regime for registration of interest representatives who seek to influence the work of the EU institutions and on its development into a mandatory lobby register covering the European Parliament and Council of the European Union as well as the Commission.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "This Commission is changing the way we work by consulting stakeholders more and by being open about who we meet and why. We need to go further by establishing a mandatory register covering all three institutions, ensuring full transparency on the lobbyists that seek to influence EU policy making. To help us get this proposal right, we hope to receive as much feedback as possible from citizens and stakeholders from across Europe on how the current system works and how it should evolve. A European Union that is more transparent and accountable is a Union that will deliver better results for citizens."
The Commission has designed a two-part consultation which will allow for input from a broad range of stakeholders, civil society and citizens. The first part of the consultation does not require detailed knowledge of the current Transparency Register and allows non-experts to respond on questions of principle and scope, whilst the second section invites opinions on the practical functioning of the current system from those who use it. The consultation documents are available in all EU languages to encourage broad feedback. The consultation will close on Tuesday 31 May.
The new system, which the Commission intends to propose as a draft inter-institutional agreement, would go beyond the current Register, which is jointly managed by the European Parliament and Commission but is not mandatory in nature and does not cover the Council. The Commission's own internal reforms (see below) have already driven a sharp increase in entries on the Transparency Register: as of 1 March, there are 9286 entries in the current Transparency Register, up from 7020 on 31 October 2014, before the Commission took office and implemented these reforms. The Commission believes that working with the co-legislators in the European Parliament and Council is an important way to ensure that citizens have a full overview of which interest representatives are seeking to influence the legislative process. The public consultation will feed into the proposal the Commission will make later this year.
The Commission has already made significant reforms to its own internal rules to promote greater transparency. Under the Working Methods of the Juncker Commission, as a rule, Commissioners will no longer meet with any organisations which are not listed in the Transparency Register. In line with the Transparency Initiative introduced in November 2014 all meetings between interest representatives and the Commissioners, their Cabinets, and Commission Director-Generals must be published within two weeks of taking place.
In its first year, the Commission published information on more than 6,000 meetings (approximately 5,500 for Commissioners and Cabinets and 600 for Directors-General). The introduction of this new system has effectively made entry on the Transparency Register a mandatory requirement for anybody who wants to meet the most senior EU decision-makers and officials.
President Juncker's Political Guidelines and the Commission's 2016 Work Programme both pledge that the Commission will make a proposal for a new mandatory Transparency Register covering all the EU Institutions. The Commission believes that citizens have the right to know who is trying to influence the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the context of the legislative process.
The planned changes to the Transparency Register are part of a broader commitment to reforming EU policy making. In its Better Regulation Agenda presented in May 2015, the Commission committed to open up its policy making process to further public scrutiny and input. New stakeholder feedback mechanisms have already been set up, giving the possibility to make views known to the Commission from the very start of the preparation of an initiative on the basis of roadmaps and inception impact assessments, as well as after a proposal is adopted by the Commission, in order to feed into the legislative process in the Parliament and Council.
Tools also exist for stakeholders to comment on existing legislation within the framework of the REFIT programme. The website "Lighten the Load - Have your say" is already operational and allows citizens to provide feedback on existing EU laws. The contributions received feed into the work of the REFIT Platform, which advises the Commission on areas of legislation which could be reviewed to make EU law more effective and more efficient.
The Commission also adopted a Communication in November 2014 outlining how more transparency will be injected into the negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The Commission considers it vital to ensure that the general public has accurate and full information of the EU's intentions in the negotiations.
For more information:
Latest News from
Talent Partnerships: Commission launches new initiative to address EU skills shortages and improve migration cooperation with partner countries11/06/2021 16:33:00
Today, the Commission is launching Talent Partnerships, a key initiative under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum that will help to address skills shortages in the European Union and to strengthen mutually-beneficial partnerships on migration with third countries.
Central America and Mexico: EU reaffirms support with €18.5 million in humanitarian and development aid11/06/2021 15:25:00
The EU yesterday announced at the 'Solidarity event for forcibly displaced persons and host communities in Central America and Mexico', that it will allocate €18.5 million in aid. Of this sum, €12 million represents humanitarian funding to Central America, and €6.5 million constitutes development assistance.
Council endorses new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change11/06/2021 14:38:00
The Council yesterday approved conclusions endorsing a new strategy that outlines a long-term vision for the EU to become a climate-resilient society that is fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change by 2050.
Child Labour: Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative on the World Day against Child Labour11/06/2021 13:25:00
Child Labour: Statement given by the European Commission and the High Representative on the World Day against Child Labour.
Education: EU increases its commitment to Global Partnership for Education with a pledge of €700 million for 2021-202711/06/2021 12:38:00
Ahead of the G7 Summit, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen yesterday announced that the European Union is pledging €700 million for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to help transform education systems for more than one billion girls and boys in up to 90 countries and territories.
EU external action budget: European Commission welcomes the final adoption of the EU's new long-term external action budget for 2021-202711/06/2021 11:33:00
The European Commission welcomes the European Parliament's decision to adopt the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – ‘Global Europe' for the period 2021-2027.
Speech by President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the conclusions of the special meeting of the European Council of 24-25 May 2021 and preparation of the G7 Summit of 11-13 June 2021 and the EU-U.S. Summit11/06/2021 10:38:00
Speech given recently (09 June 2021) by President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the conclusions of the special meeting of the European Council of 24-25 May 2021 and preparation of the G7 Summit of 11-13 June 2021 and the EU-U.S. Summit.
Report by President Charles Michel to the European Parliament plenary session11/06/2021 09:25:00
Hijacking a plane is piracy. With 171 passengers on board, it is kidnapping. When these acts are carried out by the state, it’s hostage-taking and state piracy.
Sustainable fisheries: Commission takes stock of progress in the EU and launches consultation on fishing opportunities for 202210/06/2021 16:33:00
The Commission yesterday adopted the Communication “Towards more sustainable fishing in the EU: state of play and orientations for 2022”.
EU citizens' electoral rights: Commission decides to refer CZECHIA and POLAND to the Court of Justice10/06/2021 15:25:00
The European Commission yesterday decided to refer Czechia and Poland to the Court of Justice, because in these two Member States EU citizens are restricted from joining a domestic political party.