Time for Transparency in the EU

The Dutch and French rejections of the EU constitution make the time ripe for strong measures to create more transparency around lobbying in Brussels. The European Transparency Initiative, created by Vice President of the Commission, Siim Kallas, must not miss this opportunity. The EU's democratic deficit has long been discussed, andyet never seems to go away. The perception continues that the EU is an impenetrable fortress, where corporate and political elites make decisions with no room for citizens' involvement. The estimated 15,000 lobbyists in Brussels, the vast majority working for business interests, combined with dubious public affairs practices and a lack of any credible mechanism for ensuring transparency, give credence to this perception.