Since 2001 and the European Commission's White Paper on the subject, the issue of governance has become an EU imperative. The expression 'European governance' designates the body of rules, procedures and practices that relate to the way powers are exercised in the EU. The objective is to strengthen democracy at European level and to bring citizens closer to the European institutions.
European governance is based on the following principles:
- opening up and transparency of the EU institutions;
- involving civil society in decision-making;
- framing and implementing consistent and well-managed policies;
- ensuring a clear, stable and predictable regulatory framework supporting growth and jobs
- respecting the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity;
- ensuring that each of the EU institutions and EU countries explains and takes responsibility for what it does in Europe;
- contributing to the global governance debate with a view to improving the operation of international institutions.