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Openness and transparency

Increasing the openness and transparency of the European Union has been one of Finland’s goals for a long time now. Active and clear communication and more transparent decision-making can bring the EU closer to its citizens, strengthen democracy and support the fight against disinformation.

In line with the Strategic Agenda for 2019–2024, adopted by the European Council in June 2019, the EU institutions will respect the principle of transparency set out in the Treaties and revisit their working methods.

Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union aims to improve the Council’s working methods to increase the transparency of decision-making. Other objectives include strengthening the implementation of better regulation principles and promoting the use of digital tools.

Increase the transparency of legislative procedures

Finland’s Presidency is carrying on the work to increase the transparency of Council legislative documents. To enhance the transparency of documents discussed in interinstitutional trilogue negotiations, the Council needs to cooperate with the European Parliament and the European Commission.

More public discussions in the Council

The Council always meets in public when it discusses draft legislative acts. At the Council meetings held during Finland’s Presidency, more of the discussions on other topics are also being made public.

Finland is the first presidency to incorporate the new Strategic Agenda for 2019–2024 into the work of the Council. In this context, the various configurations of the Council are discussing ways to enhance EU action over the next few years. There are good reasons for making these discussions public, as it is important that citizens should have access to them.

Europe by Satellite schedules

Increasing openness and transparency

With a new European Parliament and Commission taking office, there is an opportunity for a joint discussion of concrete measures to increase transparency during the coming legislature. Finland organised an expert seminar on this theme in Brussels on Tuesday 24 September. This event was open to the public.

Open, active and clear communication

Finland’s Presidency aims to ensure open, professional, reliable and fast communications. The purpose is to ensure that citizens, media and stakeholders have better access to information concerning preparatory work and decisions on public affairs. Decisions and their motivation, and the processes by which decisions are reached, are the subject of open communication. The entire Finnish government is involved in the communication effort.

The communication channels used by the Presidency are user-friendly, multilingual, and tailored to users’ needs. Web services are easy to access and available to everyone. Particular attention is paid to communicating in clear, jargon-free language.

Transparency in lobbying political decision-makers

Finland’s Permanent Representation to the EU is publishing information on all meetings of the Permanent Representative and her deputy with lobbyists. The Permanent Representation requires all lobbyists to sign up to the EU transparency register.

Transparency register of Finland's Permanent Representation

The Finnish government is publishing information on all EU-related meetings between its ministers and lobbyists during the Presidency.

More information

Presidency report on openness and transparency on 18 December 2019

Openness and transparency at the European Council and the Council of the European Union