In the political guidelines for the next Commission, published in September, President Barroso signalled his commitment to ‘transparency and democratic accountability’ and underlined the importance of ‘empowering citizens to be involved in decisions affecting their lives, including by ensuring transparency on how they are taken’. This indicates that the Commission is committed to strong follow-up on the European Transparency Initiative (ETI), including efforts to increase transparency concerning lobbying.
In the proposed new team of Commissioners, the Administration, Audit and Anti-Fraud portfolio of Commissioner Kallas, the driving force behind the European Transparency Initiative, has been divided between three Commissioners: Šemeta, Šefčovič, and Lewandowski. However, none of them seems to have been assigned clear responsibility for increasing transparency concerning lobbying and for following up the ETI in other areas.
In his letter to President Barroso dated 23 November, Commissioner Kallas stressed that he ‘would like to recommend that the Secretariat-General’s technical work with the Parliament’s service continues in the coming weeks and months, and that you assign clear political responsibility for driving this issue forward in the next Commission.’
How will the Barroso II Commission ensure strong follow-up to the European Transparency Initiative? Will it clearly attribute the responsibility to one Commissioner who will be put in charge with a strong mandate to advance this agenda? Who would that be? If not, how will it split the responsibilities?