Econ Opinion

13.9.2007 DRAFT OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs on Development of the framework for the activities of interest representatives (lobbyists) in the European institutions (2007/2115(INI))
Draftsman: Lapo Pistelli

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:
A. whereas 75% of economic and social policy measures which concern European citizens are prepared in Brussels,
B. whereas consultation, participation and transparency are at the heart of involving the public more in the formulation of EU policies,
C. whereas the activities of interest representatives are expanding rapidly in terms of both the number of players and the techniques used, and whereas these activities cover different types of structure as well as players with widely differing concerns,
1. Is in favour of the creation of a single register to replace those of the Commission and the Parliament; considers that registration should be compulsory and would serve as accreditation with all the European institutions; stresses the need for interest representatives, when they register and when they update their entries annually, to supply comprehensive financial information indicating their sources of funding and how these are used, together with details concerning the membership of their boards; calls for such information to be handled in accordance with the strict principles governing the protection of personal data;
2. Approves the drafting of a code of conduct drawn up by representatives of the European institutions concerned, in association with the interested parties, accompanied by a penalty of removal from the register for those in breach of the code; suggests that the European Ombudsman should be the guarantor of the code;
3. Welcomes the marked increase in the use of consultations and the Commission's intention to enhance the application thereof; is in favour of minimum rules being established for analyses and for the handling of responses received; to this end, calls on the Commission to set a minimum time limit making it possible to ensure the quality of responses and to summarise the responses received.

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