MEPs demand more transparency in access to documents - 2009-03-11
Labour Euro MPs voted today to demand greater transparency in access to documents. A report drafted by Michael Cashman MEP, Labour's spokesperson for Civil Liberties, proposes that no legislative documents should be kept secret from the public.
Michael Cashman MEP said, "In contrast with the Commission's proposal, the European Parliament is introducing measures to enhance and improve access to documents and accountability of the three institutions to citizens of the Union. Now, more than ever, people need to know what we do in their name and thereby begin to understand and participate in the EU process."
The report will promote more transparency by ensuring all legislative documents are available on an inter-institutional website, setting up common rules on the classification of documents and allowing MEPs access to documents classed as secret. A register of lobbyists would also be created and made public.
Michael Cashman MEP said, "The measures proposed are sensible, proportionate and seek to achieve a uniform approach by the three institutions, and not the least on the classification of confidential documents. Personal data is adequately protected and information officers working within the institutions can ensure that they fully comply with the obligations under the Regulation."
"We took on board amendments of the EPP restating the protection of some MEPs' documents. However, no new privileges or exemptions have been granted to MEPs, other than those contained in the Members' Statute. Claims to the contrary would be a gross misrepresentation," added Michael Cashman MEP.
For more information please call the European Parliamentary Labour Party press officer, Silke Thomson on +32 479 790 053.