Why transparency matters - Achieving development objectives and fighting corruption

24 June 2015

Transparency is an essential part of good governance. It holds actors accountable for their actions and helps to tackle corruption. This Policy Dialogue, hosted by the Norwegian Mission to the EU, sought to reflect on the role of transparency in achieving development policy objectives in the context of two crucial upcoming UN conferences: the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the September Summit in New York on the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. The EU has made a number of recent efforts with regards to enhancing transparent practices. The 2013 Transparency Directive for example requires extractive and logging companies to present detailed payments made to governments on a country-by-country basis, serving as a tool to fight corruption. And last May, the European Parliament voted on a strict conflict minerals Regulation with an obligatory monitoring system across the supply chain. This would impact on some 800.000 European companies. The text still needs to be negotiated with the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. What then are the key challenges to implementing more transparent practices, and how can public and private actors be encouraged to become more transparent? Is more EU legislation necessary, and what role should companies play in fighting corruption in developing countries? These questions and others were addressed by a panel of experts, brought together on 24 June 2015 at Norway House in Brussels.