EU Parliament Bows to Court Ruling on Access to Report

27 June 2011

The European Parliament June 22 decided to surrender a report on the abuse of payments made to members of parliament.

The so-called Galvin report was the subject of a court case recently decided in favor of the Irish lawyer who requested the document. (See previous report.) At the time of the ruling it was not known if Parliament would appeal.

However, Jerzy Buzek, president of the Parliament, recommended against appealing the decision, according to an account in The European Voice. The paper also quoted Chris Davies, a UK Liberal MP who pushed for the document’s release, as saying that Parliament’s reluctance to make the report public had damaged the its image.

Another article, in, quoted officials as saying that the report on abuse of allowances in 2004-2006 had led to reforms and that the passage of time made the information less sensitive. Parliament has requests for access to other internal reports, the website reported.  “It is too early to say what the response will be,” said a spokesman.

Diana Wallis, a UK parliamentarian who the vice president of parliament with responsibility for transparency, wrote in an article in New Europe.

Deep-rooted transparency is something that has to be cultivated, and sometimes it can take years of careful preparation to take that great leap forward. Let’s hope that this week’s events will help instill a much more solid culture of transparency in Brussels.

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