The European Parliament must do more to improve lobby transparency

Over 100 civil society organisations warned MEPs in an open letter published today  that the Commission’s proposal risks providing even less transparency to the public than the current one and that if they are serious about transparency in the big EU institutions then they must start with their own house.

A few weeks before Commission, Parliament and Council are expected to start negotiating a revision of the joint EU TRansparency Register, the Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), Civil Society Europe and Transparency International EU have brought together a broad civil society coalition to make key demands that will ensure meaningful reform.

To guarantee reforms that deliver greater lobby transparency, rather than a weakened register, the signatories urge MEPs to champion the following points during the negotiations:

  • a strong commitment by MEPs to only meet registered lobbyists
  • a financial commitment to help the register secretariat ensure data quality
  • maintaining the existing definition of lobbying, which includes direct and indirect lobbying
  • a commitment to a legally-binding lobby register in the longer-term

The letter is supported by more than 100 organisations active in areas such as worker and consumer rights, environment and public health protection, education and development cooperation.

  • Read the open letter in full here and consult the list of all signatories 
  • Consult the current Commission proposal for the inter-institutional agreement here.
  • The inter-institutional agreement process for a reformed EU lobby transparency register should be the first, essential step in a much longer process to make EU policy-making far more transparent, tackle excessive corporate influence, and bring the EU institutions closer to citizens.
  • Lobby transparency is an important tool in the fight for public-interest decision-making at the European level. A comprehensive lobby transparency register must therefore cover both direct and indirect forms of lobbying to provide accurate information about the actors influencing EU decision-making on behalf of whom, with which budget and on which issues.

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