Transparency tops complaints about EU

April 27, 2009 at 8:40 AM

BRUSSELS, April 27 (UPI) -- Public accountability and transparency issues were the biggest complaints lodged by citizens about the European Union, the body's ombudsman says.

Nikiforos Diamandouros said complaints from member-state citizens concerning EU institutions numbered 3,406 last year, up from 3,211 in 2007, with 36 percent of them concerning transparency issues such as access to documents, the EU Observer reported Monday.

Also high on the complaint list were alleged abuses of power (20 percent of all complaints), followed by negligence (8 percent) and discrimination (5 percent).

Diamandouros found against the EU institutions in 53 of the cases, calling on the European Commission to "amend its proposals to reform the legislation on public access to documents" even as the European Parliament and commission are working out a compromise to update its 2001 transparency law, the Observer reported.

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