Lobbying transparency – New EU rules overdue; Greens/EFA launches new tool

The Greens/EFA group has urged the European Commission to stop delaying anticipated proposals setting out new rules on lobbying transparency. The group made the call today in the context of its launch of a new online tool for automatically making public any meetings MEPs hold with lobbyists (1). Commenting at the launch, Greens/EFA vice-president Julia Reda said:

“Given the legitimate public concerns about the undue influence of lobbying in the EU decision-making process, ensuring transparency about the engagement of EU institutions with lobbyists must be a top priority. It is regrettable that the Commission is dragging its feet in bringing forward new proposals on lobbying transparency. EU citizens have a right to know what groups are trying to influence the legislative process. A better overview over their stakeholder meetings also allows MEPs themselves to balance out disproportionally loud and well-funded interest groups. Our new tool enables this with as little bureaucratic burden as possible. Meetings between MEPs and lobbyists will be automatically published in a database that would be open to all. The tool is open to MEPs from all groups and we hope that as many as possible will use it.”

Hungarian Green MEP Benedek Javor added:

Despite years of rhetoric and a direct commitment by EU Commission president Juncker, we still have no binding lobbyist register for all EU institutions. The Commission is continuing to delay overdue proposals setting out new EU rules on lobbying transparency. We would urge the Commission to finally come forward with its proposals, notably for a binding register for all lobbyists wishing to access the EU institutions. Transparency is the only way to address citizens’ concerns about the EU decision-making process. With the EU behind other democratic systems when it comes to lobby transparency, like the US, it is high time this was addressed.”

(1) Full information and a link to the LobbyCal tool: