The dispute on the openness of decision-making in the European Union has led to severe criticism of the EU Commission by some Finnish commentators. The news weekly Suomen Kuvalehti in an editorial (17 March 2000) asks whether the EU Commission President Romano Prodi is up to his job.
The magazine thinks Prodi has revealed his true nature in the dispute on openness, during the course of which he has criticised the European Ombudsman Jacob Söderman.
"Can the EU afford having someone like him (Prodi) as the leader of the Commission as the EU is getting ready to make important decisions which require greater sacrifices from people than ever before?" Suomen Kuvalehti asks.
The magazine thinks that "Prodi's attempt to silence Söderman confirms citizens' worst fears: Brussels has lost its sense of reality."
"The citizens' trust of the Union everywhere in Europe is at a low. Not a single official can afford to act as an arrogant bully when people demand openness or when they criticise the system, not even when the criticism comes from inside the system. Only a consistent critical attitude and all-round transparency can create the trust which justifies the use of power."
EU openness aided by public dispute
(5 May 2000)
Söderman not giving in to Prodi pressure (Helsingin Sanomat, 15 March 2000)
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