Earlier this month, a coalition of four prominent MEPs from various European countries has launched an initiative to demand “full transparency with regard to the expenditure of the Conference on the Future of Europe”, in a motion for a resolution submitted to the European Parliament.
In particular, the MEPs highlight in their motion for a resolution that:
- “promotion of the conference began before its launch and is ongoing”
- “public data indicates the spending of substantial sums of money to promote the conference”
- “the total impact of activities relating to the conference on the EU budget is unclear”
It may not be a surprise to see that the MEPs (Swedish MEP Charlie Weimers, Finnish MEP Laura Huhtasaari, Danish MEP Peter Kofod and Dutch MEP Michiel Hoogeveen) are coming from Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands, where transparency in public policy is considered of essential democratic importance.
The MEPs also stress they consider “it of the utmost importance to the future of Europe that EU institutions live up to citizens’ expectations with regard to transparency, openness and good governance”.
Therefore, they call “on the Commission, the Council and Parliament to show their commitment to transparency without delay by publishing all calls for proposals and tenders and all grants and other funding awarded in relation to the conference, as well as publishing a full account of the total costs incurred and expected, including a breakdown of expenditure by type of activity on an easily accessible and dedicated ‘sunshine section’ of the official conference platform.”
We really cannot wait to see whether the establishment groups in the EP will endorse this initiative or at least even allow discussion about it? Their OK is needed for it go forward. One would think this matter should be pretty obvious, but make no mistake about it: in April, a majority of Members of European Parliament already shamelessly voted against financial transparency surrounding the “Conference on the Future of Europe”, with Pirate MEPs and other supposedly pro transparency types coming up with all kinds of lame excuses to justify their questionable voting behaviour.
Will leading MEPs now change tack and embrace the transparency coalition, or at least allow discussion about the problematic transparency of the Conference on the Future of Europe”? We cannot wait to find out.