Strasbourg (F), 31 August 2006
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) welcomed the European Transparency Initiative in a letter to Commissioner Kallas.
‘The regions are legitimate levels of government which apply transparent and open procedures for full citizen participation in the decision-making process’, said Klaus Klipp, Secretary General of the AER. ‘The regions and the AER, their representative organisations, cannot be considered as lobbyists. We welcome transparency and we are committed to providing information on our structures and finances. But a difference must be maintained between public territorial entities and lobbyists,’stressed Mr Klipp.
The AER has also emphasized that:
– It favours the creation of a common code of conduct for lobbyists.
– Any initiative on the disclosure of beneficiaries of Community Funds should not culminate in a new layer of bureaucracy.
– More focus should be placed on raising awareness of consultation processes in a timely manner.
‘It would be useful to receive an honest evaluation from the Commission services of how they treat submissions, and whether there is a systematic way of evaluating these and of deciding which ideas merit inclusion in the policy’, Mr Klipp added.
Finally, the AER proposed that the Structured Dialogue is further developed, in order to allow for a true exchange between regions and the European Commission. The AER therefore calls upon the European Commission to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the Structured Dialogue as part of its analysis on consultation mechanisms.
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