Madrid, 16 July 2014 – Access Info Europe welcomed the commitment made today by new European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to transparency of decision making, particularly with respect to lobbying and international trade negotiations, and to enacting a mandatory register of lobbyists.
The commitment by Juncker at his confirmation hearing in the European Parliament included specific references to transparency during all steps of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, something which Access Info Europe along with over 250 civil society groups have been calling for since the negotiations began.
Following the speech, Access Info made a request through AsktheEU.org for documents containing information on TTIP proposals and meetings with the EU.
“It is remarkable that the TTIP negotiations have not been open thus far,” said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe. “It is clearly essential that citizens in Europe and the United States are able to participate in debate around an agreement which will determine our future legislative framework.”
Access Info Europe also stressed that while these specific transparency commitments are a positive move, there is a pressing need for a coherent EU transparency policy to ensure that all decision making is open and accountable to the European public.
Mandatory Lobby Register
Jean-Claude Juncker’s statement to MEPs, that was welcomed by ALTER-EU, also contains a commitment to contain a mandatory lobby register: “I am also committed to enhanced transparency when it comes to contact with stakeholders and lobbyists. Our citizens have the right to know with whom Commissioners and Commission staff, Members of the European Parliament or representatives of the Council meet in the context of the legislative process.”
“We welcome Juncker’s announcement for a mandatory lobby register, as this will help to ensure greater transparency around decisions made in Brussels which affect the lives of citizens throughout Europe,” commented Pam Bartlett Quintanilla of Access Info Europe.
The commitments by Juncker come after the successful Politics for People campaign, run during the recent European Parliament elections, which resulted in a total of 177 of the newly-elected MEPs having signed a pledge to “stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business”.
For more information please contact:
Pam Bartlett Quintanilla | Access Info Europe
firstname.lastname@example.org +34 913 656 558