Cities should not be obliged to sign EU transparency register

date
12-06-2015

We call on the European institutions to exempt city governments and their representative offices from the mandatory requirement to sign the EU transparency register.

City governments, with our democratically elected representatives, are the level of government closest to the citizens. We are best placed to understand and reflect our citizens’ needs and hopes for the future, and we provide many of the public services required to guarantee a good quality of life for all. We are also key players in stimulating economic growth, innovation and job creation, and we ensure social equity can be combined with sustainable growth.

Recent changes to the EU transparency registry mean that cities throughout the EU are now being treated in the same way as private businesses, instead of as a level of representative government.

While we support the commitment to improved transparency and better policy making, we believe it is necessary to differentiate between local and regional governments and other groups of stakeholders. We therefore call for an exemption for local governments from the obligation to sign the EU transparency register.

As the only directly elected EU institution, there is a special relationship between the European Parliament and EU citizens, more than 70% of whom live in urban areas. In the interest of better policy making, we believe the link between elected representatives at local and European level should be strengthened.

In addition to exempting local governments from signing the register, we would welcome an open discussion on the possibility for local elected representatives to be granted formal speaking rights in the European Parliament on issues where they are concerned.

Please refer to our full statement on ‘EU transparency registry and cities’ for more information.