|Vol.7, No.23, 7.6.01, p7
MEPS campaigning to reform the European Parliament say they will 'name and shame' colleagues who refuse to publish their financial interests on the Internet.
Members of the cross-party Campaign for Parliamentary Reform say they will name those blocking online details of their shareholdings, directorships and other financial interests.
The move comes after Parliamentary chiefs backtracked on plans to automatically post full financial declarations on the Web - even though the constitutional affairs committee called for them.
Dutch Socialist Michiel van Hulten said: "What we will simply do is put on our own website the names of MEPs who have not agreed to have their declarations published."
Currently, members of the public can only get access to members' interests if they consult the central register held in Brussels and Strasbourg.
Those details will be published on the official Parliamentary website on 1 July - except for those MEPs who object.
Earlier this year, the assembly agreed to change the institution's rules to allow the register to be electronically posted following a report by British socialist MEP Richard Corbett.
But the Bureau, the assembly's administrative body consisting of President Nicole Fontaine and the 14 national vice-presidents, later decided that individual MEPs should be allowed to veto publication of their interests.
Officials have now written to each of the 626 MEPs asking for the go-ahead to publish their declarations. Reformers say this is simply not good enough. "Making it optional totally defeats the purpose," said van Hulten. "Anybody who has got anything to hide will obviously not let their interests be put on the Internet. If you have a public register then it should be truly public."
MEPs campaigning to reform the European Parliament say they will 'name and shame' colleagues who refuse to publish their financial interests on the Internet.
|Politics and International Relations