Press release 11th of February 2005

A small victory for transparency - EU-Commission's working groups are now published

The fight for transparency and openness in the EU-system is slowly moving in the right direction. After years of requests the EU-Commission has now chosen to publish a long list of all the working groups, which have worked for the Commission in 2004.

The list, which until now has been kept secret for everyone, contained in the first counting more than 3000 entries. These have now been revised, so the number of listed working groups is minimum 1684, containing the groups which were active in 2004. Add to this also the working groups which were not active in 2004 and all the management committees.

"It has been a tough fight to get this list out of the dark. Through all the years these working groups have been secret. I find it absolutely absurd that even the Committee of Budgetary Control, which purpose is to control the budgets of the EU, has not had access to any information about who sits in the groups and what they actually are doing there.
Therefore, I consider the publication of this list a small victory for transparency," Jens-Peter Bonde, MEP for the Danish JuneMovement says.

According to Jens-Peter Bonde the working groups' remunerations and travelling allowances are paid with the tax-payers money through the EU.
Therefore, the citizens of EU have the right to know how the working groups are actually managing their money.

Jens-Peter Bonde says:

"We have finally got the list published. Next step is to fight for getting the names of the members of the different groups. I will not accuse anybody for fraud or exploitation of the system, but it is clear that if you know that no one is able to check your accounts or your work, the risk of being tempted is stronger..."

For more information contact

Jens-Peter Bonde +32.228.45.167 (Brussels) or +45 20 49 02 51 (mobile)