20th March 2012: This contribution from Andrew Brons to a debate in the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) on changes to rules of procedure of the Parliament with regard to the 'Ordinary Legislative Procedure', was given this morning at the European Parliament in Brussels.
"We have been invited to look at Rule 70 with regard to achieving effectiveness, transparency, and inclusiveness. I hope that I shall not hurt anybody's feelings and get them reaching for their handkerchiefs when I say that I do not really care about the effectiveness or efficiency of the ordinary legislative procedure. However I am concerned about transparency and inclusiveness of the whole parliament.
"If we really want to achieve transparency, we should ensure that all negotiations should take place in a formal setting. There should be a rule to ensure that none should take place informally and that all meetings are web-streamed. Furthermore, all meetings of co-ordinators are web-streamed so that those of us in the Non-Attached, who are singled out for exclusion (not inclusion), can have access not only to the decisions (we are already informed of those), but also to the arguments that led to those decisions.
"I quote from the report:
"If negotiations lead to a compromise with the Council, committee co-ordinators should be informed immediately, so that all political groups are aware."
"That of course excludes those of us who are in the Non-Attached (not being members of recognised political groups).
"Sometimes amendments are changed in committee and re-grouped in the plenary and we find out about them too late.
"We must ensure that transparency and inclusiveness are principles to which we adhere and are not mere fashion attachments."