Transparency International supports an open letter by ALTER-EU and over 100 other NGOs to foster EU lobbying transparency13 May 2015
On 11 May 2015 over 100 NGOs across Europe have supported ALTER-EU’s urge to the European Commission to take strong and urgent action to create a high-quality and legally-binding EU lobby transparency register.
Lobby transparency is vital to reduce unethical lobbying and also to begin to ensure a better balance between corporate and public interest groups in the access to, and influence they have on, decision-making processes.
The petitioners welcome the steps the Juncker Commission has taken to increase lobby transparency at the European level, including to ban the most senior Commission representatives from holding meetings with unregistered lobbyists and to publish lists of the lobby meetings held by those senior Commission representatives.
However, the EU lobby register still has major weaknesses. Firstly, it is still not obligatory. Lobbyists determined to avoid transparency will continue to get away with it unhindered. Secondly, disclosure requirements are too limited to give a comprehensive picture of who the EU’s lobbyists are; who they are working for; what their financial means of influence are; how much they spend influencing; and what specific dossiers they lobby on. Moreover, too much information disclosed within the register is vague and can even be misleading. And thirdly, the lack of adequate capacity to monitor entries properly and to apply sanctions means that lobbyists who fail to follow the rules can do so without fear of sanction.
The full text of the open letter can be accessed here: