European Transparency Initiative (ETI)

An initiative by the European Commission with the target of rendering the system of Lobbying in Brussels more transparent.

The Transparency Initiative, launched in 2005, represents then-Administration and Anti-Fraud Commissioner Siim Kallas's attempt to increase the openness and accessibility of the EU institutions, raise awareness of bloc's budget spending and generally make the EU more accountable to the public.

In the Green Paper, Kallas warned that compulsory regulation could be introduced if lobbyists fail to establish appropriate self-regulatory instruments, including codes of conduct, common principles and a voluntary register  He also urged member states to disclose lists of CAP beneficiaries.

Kallas further stated: "Through co-operation on the register, we can resist any campaign to outlaw or discredit legitimate interest representation, and we can ensure a solid, sustainable foundation for the credibility and legitimacy of the business. We can keep the EU institutions open and accessible without daily contacts between us being subjected to bureaucratic hurdles. And by acting now, in the absence of a lobbying 'scandal', we can help to prevent scandals and we can address the ever-increasing level of lobbying of EU institutions in a cool-headed, analytical state of mind."

Despite pressure from lobbying groups, Kallas refused to compromise on financial disclosure. "If spending money on lobbying brings no influence, I wonder what the lobby professionals say to their clients when they bill them?," he recently asked the European Parliament, adding that the proposed regulation was "very light" by international standards.

 
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