A Call to Members of the European Parliament Take transparency seriously and enact the 'legislative footprint'

Lukas Obholzer
2011 unpublished
he code of conduct that was agreed by a cross-party working group of the European Parliament (EP), the EP Bureau and Conference of Presidents, is a watered-down compromise that lacks provision for the introduction of the 'legislative footprint' that the plenary requested the Bureau to set up. The legislative footprint is a document that would detail the time, person and subject of a legislator's contact with a stakeholder. Published as an annex to legislative reports, it would provide insight
more » ... d provide insight into who gave input into draft legislation. Unfortunately, the Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) Committee with Carlo Casini (EPP) as Chair and Rapporteur has so far failed to improve the draft in this respect. Against a backdrop of past scandals and recent criticism of early agreements negotiated in trilogues behind closed doors, the EP is about to miss an opportunity to show that it has learnt its lesson, and that it takes seriously its role as guarantor of legitimacy in EU decision-making. Transparency means proactive action: by adding a provision for a legislative footprint that identifies the interest representatives with whom key actors met and from whom they received advice, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have a chance to turn the EP into a role model for parliamentary transparency in a pluralistic democracy.