More than 100 NGOs call on Parliament to take action on lobby transparency

Author
Jasna Šelih
Date
17 March, 2017
Type
Article
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joint letter supported by over 100 NGOs was published today, calling on the Members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong negotiating position on the EU Transparency Register. Negotiations on the new inter-institutional agreement are expected to start soon between the Parliament, Commission and Council.

The NGOs urge MEPs to:

  • Commit to only meet with registered lobbyists
  • Ensure that more resources are provided to the register secretariat to ensure data quality
  • Retain the current definition of lobbying, which includes direct and indirect lobbying
  • Maintain the objective of a legally-binding lobby register in the long-term.

The signatories of the joint letter include leading NGOs, including Greenpeace, Oxfam, the European Youth Forum, Social Platform and Transparency International.

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International standards for lobbying regulation

The 38 standards set out here build on best practice from existing lobby regulations and also reference various existing international standards on the matter. However, they go beyond what is already available by addressing three critical and inter-related areas of effective regulation of lobbying: transparency, integrity and participation, and in this way go further than previous initiatives. They aim at internationally applicable standards, but with an awareness and respect for national differences.

These standards remain under ongoing review and any suggestions for their further development or refinement are welcome.

Joint Letter – Lobbyists for Transparent Lobbying

The joint letter was drafted and signed together with the major associations representing EU public affairs professionals (SEAP), consultancies (EPACA) and lawyers (CCBE) and is supported by umbrella groups, such as the European Youth Forum and Social Platform. The demands outlined in the letter were also supported by more than 67,000 citizens from across Europe that signed an online petition.

The letter calls for all EU institutions to be covered by a mandatory lobby register, including the Council. The signatories demand that all lobbyists register, file their declarations with diligence and abide by the basic rules of the Code of Conduct.

Transparency International’s assessment of the proposal for a mandatory EU Transparency Register

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On 28 September 2016, the European Commission published its proposal to revise the EU Transparency Register to make the register mandatory and extend it to the Council. The proposal will be the basis for the upcoming negotiations on a new Inter-institutional Agreement (IIA) for the European Parliament, Commission and Council.
In preparation of the upcoming talks, Transparency International EU (TI EU) has set out its priorities to create a robust and credible register addressing the decreasing trust in the EU institutions and the European project itself. TI EU submission to the European Commission’s public consultation and more detailed recommendations can be found here.

 

Access all areas: when EU politicians become lobbyists

This is our first-ever, comprehensive analysis of career changes between the EU institutions and other employers, providing a clear picture of the revolving door phenomenon across the EU institutions. We have analysed the career paths of those 485 former members of the European Parliament and 27 Commissioners who were in office during the last mandate and have since left the EU institutions. Our report finds that many of those leaving the EU institutions and specifically politics now have activities where risks of conflicts of interest cannot be ruled out.

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Want to know more? Get in touch

Daniel Freund

Head of Advocacy EU Integrity
dfreund@transparency.org