We Need to Talk About Expert Groups...

Publication date: 
Monday, March 25, 2013
Pascoe Sabido, ALTER-EU expert group campaigner

ALTER-EU comment piece about the 'informal dialogue' between the European Parliament and the European Commission

Executive summary / policy recommendations: 

Expert groups provide expertise on a multitude of important issues, guiding the Commission's thinking and shaping legislation on important public issues such as regulation of banks, food safety standards or the privatisation of public services. 

In advance of the meeting, the Commission prepared a State of Play (28/02/2013), outlining what progress had been made since its last State of Play (06/09/2013) and how far it had gone towards meeting the conditions outlined by the European Parliament in terms of preventing industry dominance of these influential advisory groups. However, while the Commission claims civil society has an important role to play in monitoring how its coming along, it failed to make the State of Play public. ALTER-EU managed to obtain a copy, and in the name of transparency is publishing it online. After seeing the document, ALTER-EU has now been able to update its own State of Play on how the Commission has been doing, as well as draft a direct response.

Read together, the main conclusion is that very little progress has been made in meeting the European Parliament's conditions. In light of this, MEPs need to seriously question whether the Commission is taking the right approach to tackling the problem of industry domination of expertise. ALTER-EU has come up with some of its own proposals to tackle the problem, contained within its state of play and its response to the Commission.

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