70 percent of EU citizens believe the European Union to be corrupt. In vast e-mails I received and direct talks with citizens I had, I felt a growing discontent due to lack of transparency and excessively influential lobbies. The first anti-corruption report of the EU emphasizes those feelings: The losses of the overall EU economy due to corruption amount to some estimated 120 billion a year. Those numbers clearly show: It is high time that actions against corruption and in favour of more transparency and integrity in the EU institution are taken.Therefore, I am inviting you today to become part of this change.
Now, there’s a real opportunity: The heads of the political groups in the European Parliament gave their green light for an initiative report on “Transparency, integrity and accountability in the EU institutions” for which we Greens are taking the lead.The Green working group of the Committee for Constitutional Affairs chose me to be the rapporteur who will write a draft in the name of the Parliament. Such an initiative report is like a wish list of the Parliament to the EU Commission ultimately calling on them to propose an EU-bill which then needs to be agreed by the Parliament and the Council of Member States. This is de facto a right of initiative of Parliament. Using this, we can propose all the ideas necessary to make European Politics cleaner.
We already have some strong proposals. Yet especially since our report is on transparency, I would like to draft it myself transparent and open way. Therefore, I would like to know your wishes and ideas. Please write them to me and share them with the public: https://sven-giegold.de/transparency/
It’s not always easy to remain faithful that better politics is possible. The change of State Secretary Katharina Reiche from the Federal Government in Germany directly into business is equally questionable like the revolving door that my former colleague of the Financial and Economic committee, Sharon Bowles, took to the London stock exchange. Both took with them insider knowledge acquired by representing the common good for EU citizens. Now they are selling it to big business. I find such decisions personally disappointing.
A unique opportunity has come up: Commission president Juncker needs new credibility through new rules for lobby transparency. He made this promises to us in a Green hearing before his election. The pro-European majority in Parliament wants to win back the trust of citizens and push back populism. Many member states hoping for new investment are not willing to allow waste of scarce tax payer money. Civil society already developed numerous practical proposals in favour of clean politics. This initiative report can summarize all ideas for strong European rules. Our task remains: To separate economic from political power. The economy may work for profit. In politics, the common good has to prevail.
Conflicts of interest of Members of the Euroepan Parliament and Commissioners have to be ruled out in order to achieve credible politics.To achieve that and to strenghthen decision making in the common interest we can make lobby influence fully transparent and strengthen existing academic resources of the parliament. In order to fight corruption we should exclude cheaters from the allocation of public contracts and protect whistle-blowers. These demands not only hold true for Brussels but for Berlin and other capitals.
The page for your ideas: https://sven-giegold.de/transparency
Anti-corruption report by the EU 2014: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/organized-crime-and-human-trafficking/corruption/anti-corruption-report/index_en.htm
EU lobby transparency register (so far only for parliamet and Commission, not yet including the Council and not yet mandatory):