Frans Timmermans: “We must be more open in everything we do.”
Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of The European Commission, has held a press conference about transparency and migration on September 28th.
First Vice-President Timmermans said: “The EU institutions need to work together to win back the trust of our citizens. We must be more open in everything we do. Today' proposals for a mandatory transparency register covering the Parliament, Council and Commission are an important step in the right direction. Citizens have the right to know who tries to influence EU law-making. We propose a simple rule: no meeting with decision-makers without prior registration. Through the Register, the public will see who is lobbying, who they represent and how much they spend” and “The Commission has today proposed an Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) which will put in place a robust system ensuring the transparency of lobbying activities, building on the existing voluntary Transparency Register of the Parliament and the Commission. The Commission is proposing that all three institutions – including the Council - be subject to the same minimum standards for the first time” he added.
After his opening speech, Mr. Timmermans answer the questions of the press members upon the related issue.
What has the Commission proposed?
F.T: The Commission has proposed a mandatory Transparency Register, based on a new Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) covering the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission. The proposal aims to strengthen and extend the current scheme which covers only the European Parliament and the Commission.
The proposals will ensure high standards of transparency in all three institutions by moving from a voluntary system to one where registration becomes a precondition for interest representation at EU level, by making certain interactions, in particular meetings with decision-makers in the EU institutions conditional upon prior registration.The Commission has also proposed a number of changes to strengthen the monitoring and control of the data in the Register, with enhanced human and IT resources and better controls and enforcement of the rules.
The proposal to create a mandatory transparency register covering all three institutions through an IIA was announced in President Juncker' Political Guidelines as one of the Commission' priorities. It was then included in the Commission' Work Programme, and we are now delivering on this commitment.
What are the other changes compared to the current system?F.T: Key changes include: clearer definition of 'lobbying', exemption for local and regional governments, simplified data disclosure requirements, effective enforcement and creating stronger management structures.
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