The Commission has always believed in regular communication with people outside the EU institutions, as a way of improving the quality of its policies and legislative proposals. This approach was first spelled out officially in a Commission policy paper from 1992 – "An open and structured dialogue between the Commission and interest groups".
In its more recent paper "eEurope 2010: a partnership for European renewal", the Commission sets strategic objectives for 2005-09, confirming that "European citizens must[...] be offered a stake in the European edifice", and pointing out that consultation and participation is "inherent in the idea of partnership".
Openness is a particularly important aspect of the Commission's efforts for better regulation. Greater transparency in its dealings with interest representatives is a part of that. So, as part of the European transparency initiative, the Commission decided to lay down some ground rules:
|Green Paper – European transparency initiative (2006)|
Policy paper – follow-up to green paper (2007)
Policy paper – framework for relations with interest representatives (2008)