First political meeting ahead of Transparency Register negotiations
Political representatives from the Parliament, Council and Commission met on Wednesday to discuss the proposal on a mandatory EU Transparency Register.
The three EU institutions agreed on the political importance of this issue and underlined their commitment to increase the transparency of the interest representation, and thus of the EU decision-making process, through a clear and comprehensive framework for representation activities within their respective institutional autonomy.
The meeting was organised on the initiative of the Estonian Presidency of the Council. The Parliament and the Commission welcomed the initiative as a positive step and indicated their readiness to start negotiations as soon as possible.
"I very much welcome this first meeting today with Deputy Minister of EU Affairs of Estonia, Mr Matti Maasikas, and First Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Frans Timmermans. This was a good opportunity for the European Parliament to highlight the political importance of this file and to insist on the added value it wants to see achieved in the coming negotiations, with the Council's meaningful participation”, said Ms. Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR).
“Transparency is crucial to fostering citizens' trust in the EU institutions. The Parliament is fully committed to forge ahead. Our mandate gives us a solid base for good negotiations with the Council and the Commission. I am convinced that at the end of our negotiations we will have not simply a good inter-institutional agreement, but above all a Transparency Register that responds better to citizens' expectations”, said Ms. Danuta Hübner (EPP, PL).
The Commission submitted its proposal for an inter-institutional agreement on a mandatory Transparency Register on 28 September 2016. The proposal aims to strengthen the framework for a transparent and ethical interaction between interest representatives and the three institutions participating in the new scheme, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. Since 2011, the Parliament and Commission jointly operate a public register for interest representatives aiming to increase the transparency and accountability of the EU decision-making process. The Council is an observer to the current scheme since 2014.
On 15 June 2017, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, bringing together the EP President and political group leaders, approved the Parliament’s negotiating mandate, following endorsement by an EP contact group made up of representatives of all the political groups. The EP mandate underlines the need for a strong transparency message from the three institutions and a meaningful outcome of the negotiations.