Highly transparent decision-making at EU level is vital for citizens’ trust

LIBE MEPs welcome Commission’s progress, Council should follow suit

Photo: EP Ioan-Rareş Bogdan.

Fully democratic and highly transparent decision-making at European level is indispensable to increase citizens’ trust in the EU institutions, said the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) MEPs in a non-legislative report adopted with 60 votes to 4. 

In it the lawmakers underlined that access to documents should be guaranteed in relation to implementation of EU policies and use of EU funds. The EU institutions must strive for the highest possible standards of transparency, they said.

We are determined to bring the citizens closer to the decision-making process and through the recommendations made in the report, we aim at an improved, more effective and efficient right of access to documents, said rapporteur Romanian EPP MEP Ioan-Rareş Bogdan.

He outlined that transparency and accountability are fundamental to increase the trust of the citizens in the EU’s political, legislative and administrative activities and in its institutions.

Concerning the EP’s approach, MEPs stressed the institution works with a high degree of transparency, making it possible for citizens, media and stakeholders to see how and why decisions are made.

On the other hand, lawmakers are very critical of the Council, whose absence of commitment in ensuring transparency reflects a “lack of accountability in its role as EU co-legislator”.

According to the MEPs, the Commission has made progress in improving its transparency standards, but they denounced its recurrent practice of providing often only very limited information on implementation of EU legislation to Parliament, as well as its refusal to publish statistics on effectiveness of EU policies. The committee also asks the Commission to be more transparent regarding its contracts and tender processes.

They also insisted that Parliament should be fully and immediately informed at every stage of the negotiations of international agreements, as established in the EU Treaties.

LIBE MEPs praised the new Code of Conduct for the Commission’s members about their meetings and trips and recommended the Council to pattern after it. They also defend the establishment of a dedicated and user-friendly joint database on the state of EU legislative files, and complain of the slow progress of the negotiations for a mandatory Transparency Register.

When it comes to the votes in EP, the report suggests setting up a user-friendly system which includes search and filtering functions.

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