New package of transparency tools for MEPs  

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Political groups agreed on a new set of transparency tools for MEPs, to increase the transparency of their meetings with interest representatives, on Wednesday.

The package, endorsed by the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (President and political group leaders), was discussed with EP negotiators working towards an agreement on a new EU Transparency Register and will form part of Parliament’s input to those ongoing negotiations.

The upgrading of the existing Register aims to make interest representation in EU decision-making more transparent. It would include all three EU institutions (the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission) in a joint effort to increase public trust in the EU decision-making process.

EP negotiators Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume and Chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee Danuta Hübner have been negotiating together with the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council and with the Commission on how, in practice, interest representatives would only be able to interact with the EU institutions if they are on the Transparency Register.

Parliament’s mandate seeks to strengthen existing rules and close loopholes, so that registration would become mandatory for any interest representatives entering its premises, speaking at its public meetings or co-hosting events, with the aim of influencing MEPs’ decision-making. This additional package, endorsed on Wednesday 27 June, will include a voluntary public declaration for MEPs to pledge to meet only registered interest representatives, a tool for them to publish such meetings on their Parliament webpage and raise awareness of the legislative footprint tool already available for Members to declare input to reports they author.

The European Parliament is strongly committed to fostering a culture of transparency among its Members. The declaration to adopt the systematic practice of only meeting with registered interest representatives is an important step forward in order to reach an agreement which is legally and politically viable”, said EP lead negotiator Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR).

“The Parliament is delivering a comprehensive package of measures, which in many instances is going further than the other two institutions. The enhanced system of transparency will demonstrate the Parliament’s and Members’ commitment to transparency and accountability towards citizens, especially in the run up to the 2019 European elections”, said EP lead negotiator Danuta Hübner (EPP, PL).