EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Commission to target expert groups in transparency drive’:

The comments on the transparency of Expert Groups made by Commission spokesperson Valérie Rampi to EurActiv suggest that the Commission is watering down its promise to introduce greater transparency to such groups.

Last year, President Barroso and Commissioner Kallas made a commitment to publishing the names of both the organisations and the individuals that sit on every Expert Group. Now spokesperson Rampi says that only the names of those who participate in a “personal capacity” will be included.

The European Parliament has called on the Commission to carry out a thorough review of Expert Groups due to concerns over imbalance. It says members should be selected through an open and transparent process [(2007/2141(INI)) Committee on Budgetary Control, Rapporteur: José Javier Pomés Ruiz A6-0010/2008].

Given that as many as 10,000 industry representatives may be sitting on Expert Groups (based on the Commission’s suggestion that “only” 20% of its members come from industry and academic estimates of the size of Expert Group membership), it is crucial that the Commission acts swiftly to resolve this issue.

The public should know who is represented (the names of organisations as well as names of individuals) and what the mandate of each Expert Group is. Without access to this information, we cannot know whether or not the groups are acting in the public interest.

Yiorgos Vassalos

Lead researcher

ALTER-EU project on Expert Groups

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Comments

  1. ALTER-EU wrote a letter to President Barroso and Vice-President Kallas asking for an update on the process of implementing the promise of Expert Groups transparency.

    ALTER-EU also wrote to Commissioners Verheugen, Potocnik, Piebalgs, Vassiliou and Dimas to ask them how are they going to address specific cases of Expert Groups dominated by business interests in breach with the Commission’s own codes of conduct.

    Please find the letters to the website of the CEO:
    http://www.corporateeurope.org

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