Trust in EU institutions

The European Committee launched the European Transparency Initiative in November, 2005. Among other organizations, HCLU also expressed its opinion and shared its comments on the green paper being released on this issue.

The European Transparency Initiative (ETI) is the direct result of the recognition that transparency may increase faith in EU institutions. In addition, transparency regulation is the cornerstone of legitimacy within modern administrations. High scale transparency may assist in establishing a more open and responsible European Union. Besides the above, the strategy for 2005-2009 includes the extension of the roles of active participants in European policy making. The European Committee launched its partnership program for exactly this purpose as well.

The initiative practically means releasing a 'green paper' in order to identify the most important questions and problems while drawing those interested, into the dialogue (including member states, civil and lobby organizations and public institutions). As a result of the consultation, the Committee will release a 'white paper' which will be the base of any further legislation.

In this case the consultation period was 3 May – 31 Aug, 2006. The green paper included the following issues: the need for more detailed rules for lobby organizations’ activities; feedback on the Committee’s consultation and lastly compulsory publication of information on beneficiaries of divided resources. One of the great advantages of the consultation is that the committee publishes all the opinions, making them available for everyone.

HCLU has also participated in the consultation process sharing its experiences gained within the debate of the Hungarian Lobby Act. HCLU argued for the highest transparency of the lobbying activity and for sanctioning of illegal lobbying. HCLU did not comment on the second topic which debated the minimum requirements of the consultation. The reason was the lack of such experiences. Regarding the third topic, the information of the beneficiaries of divided resources, HCLU has expressed its strong opinion on the compulsory publicity of beneficiaries both of state and EU sources. Therefore it is our opinion that the need for a free and public register of all of these is a must.

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