Transparency contributes to consolidating the principles of democracy and to respecting the fundamental rights, as laid down in Article 6 of the EU Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Transparency aims at ensuring a broader access of the citizens to information and documents in the possession of state institutions, citizen participation in the decision-making process, and at ensuring the legitimity, efficiency and accountability of the administration to the citizen.
The concept of transparency of the decisional process carried out in institutions refers to ensuring the access of the citizens to the documents under state institution management and to consulting citizens on adopting certain regulations.
,br/>Concretely, transparency implies
providing ex officio information to persons on problems of public interest to be debated by central and local public administration authorities, and on draft normative acts;
consulting citizens and legally constituted associations, at the initiative of the public authorities, in the elaboration process of the draft normative acts;
active participation of citizens in administrative decision-making and in the elaboration process of draft normative acts.
The Treaty instituting the European Union defines the notion of transparency in its first article, paragraph two, which establishes that decisions are taken as open and as close as possible to the citizens of the Union.
Article 255 of the Treaty, introduced in 1997, ensures any citizen of the Union and any natural or juridical person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, the right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The regulations of 30 May 2001 implement the right of access to the documents issued by the three institutions, providing only two exceptions: the cases when access is automatically denied, in order to ensure public security, defence, international relations etc., and those when access is denied with the purpose of ensuring the protection of the commercial interests of the person – unless there is a public interest in communicating the information.
The constitutional project under ratification and revision expands the access principle to the documents issued by any EU institution, body, offices and agencies.
In Romania, ensuring institutional transparency is regulated by Law 52/2003, which includes the provisions of the European legislation.
At the level of the Ministry of Regional Development and Housing, transparency is ensured by the Directorate for the Relationship with the Parliament and Social Dialogue, which maintains the relation with the Parliament, initiates and organises consultations with the civil society (trade unions, employers' associations, non-governmental organisations) and ensures transparency at institution level in the decision-making process.
In order to offer the citizens the possibility to actively participate in the elaboration of regulations, the Directorate for the Relationship with the Parliament and Social Dialogue organises actions to inform and consult citizens and civil society on problems of public interest to be debated, and on draft normative acts.
Directorate for the Relationship with the Parliament and Social Dialogue
Carmen Dumitriu, Director