Transparency and Financial Regulation in the European Union: Crisis and Complexity

37 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2012

Date Written: June 25, 2012


The Lisbon Treaty came into force in the European Union as the global financial crisis developed into a European sovereign debt crisis. Transparency is a component of accountability, and a means of addressing the EU's democratic deficit. The Lisbon Treaty established a new commitment to transparency within the EU. However, urgency and complexity make transparency harder to achieve, and the European Union has not achieved transparency with respect to urgent matters such as the financial and sovereign debt crises and complex issues such as financial regulation. The EU has made significant structural changes to financial regulation, and the increasing institutional complexity of the EU means that sources of information about the EU’s policies have increased in number, adding to problems of information overload. In response to the financial crisis the EU has introduced many new rules of financial regulation. At the same time, although multilingualism is a core feature of the EU, the EU’s new financial authorities issue technical consultations only in English. Because the EU has committed itself to transparency in the Treaties the EU's institutions must work to increase citizens' ability to navigate the information which is available to them. And the EU's institutions should do more to increase access to information about the development of EU policy, by implementing the EU commitment to multilingualism more effectively, and by not allowing crises and technical matters to divert them from the imperatives of transparency.

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Bradley, Caroline M., Transparency and Financial Regulation in the European Union: Crisis and Complexity (June 25, 2012). Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 35, 2012, University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-15, Available at SSRN:

Caroline M. Bradley (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States
305-284-2082 (Phone)
305-284-6506 (Fax)

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