Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-05-13-Speech-1-033"

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"Mr President, on behalf of my group, I wish to thank Mrs Maij-Weggen for having drawn up a complete list of those documents the European Parliament must make directly accessible to the public. I want to say that Mrs Malmström is absolutely right when she says that transparency can and must extend from Finland to Greece; this really is no longer just a Nordic concept. I would, however, like to say that our new regulation on transparency perhaps incorporates just one feature which is a very Nordic tradition, which is that there are registers of documents. For a long time, people in Finland, Sweden and Denmark have been able to go, for example, to the municipal registrar’s office, the public register, and see what sort of documents were held there – and, obviously, they still can. Now we have the Internet and we can introduce this process in the European Parliament. We can only hope that all the institutions agree that we should endeavour to create one single document register in which documents from all the institutions are indeed directly accessible for as long as possible, and in this way we really will be making decision-making more transparent. We must, however, realise that this will still be a great struggle for us. This week we are having another very important debate on this subject, as we are discussing with Mr Solana the issue of Council reform and transparency, where we will have to defend, for example, the broad definition of legislation. We cannot settle for a situation where only documents connected with the codecision procedure would be accessible to the public, but must try to ensure that all documents that relate to different decisions binding on Member States are accessible. I particularly want to thank the rapporteur for having included a list of Members’ assistants, as they carry out public duties in their capacity as assistants to the Members of Parliament. It is high time we pointed out that these names are not secret; they are not secret individuals, and their names may indeed be made known to the public. Parliament thus also takes the view that, while, on the one hand, the protection of privacy is obviously important, on the other hand, the common interest and the right of access to information also require names to be made public, subject to certain conditions."@en1

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