Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

  • Dansk
  • NL
  • EN
  • FI
  • FR
  • DE
  • EL
  • IT
  • NO
  • PL
  • PT
  • RO
  • SL
  • ES
  • SV

New lobby register consultation: Will the Commission finally grasp the lobbying bull by the horns?

As the European Commission launches its public consultation on the future EU lobby transparency regime, the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) makes the following immediate reaction.

Vicky Cann, from Corporate Europe Observatory, a steering committee member of ALTER-EU says:

“ALTER-EU is a veteran of EU lobby register reform processes and up to now, change has been glacially slow. For this new consultation to be genuinely different, the Commission must seek views from far and wide across Europe and crucially, must be prepared to grasp the lobbying bull by the horns. A legally-binding register – which goes further than a de facto mandatory register - is the only way to ensure that citizens can properly see who is influencing EU decision-making, on which issues, on whose behalf, and with what budgets.”

Fabian Flues, from Friends of the Earth Europe, another ALTER-EU steering committee member says:

“At the moment half of all entries in the register are incomplete or inaccurate, which makes a mockery of transparency. We need a much improved monitoring system, with real sanctions on lobbyists who mislead the public, to deliver greater transparency on who is influencing EU decisions.”

Nina Katzemich, from LobbyControl, a steering committee member of ALTER-EU, says:

“It is scandalous that the Commission still meets with lobbyists not on the transparency register after President Juncker made increased transparency one of the priorities of his Commission. As a minimum, the Commission must urgently restrict all its meetings to registered lobbyists – anything else would encourage shadowy practices to continue.”

During the consultation process, and as part of its Full lobby transparency now! campaign, ALTER-EU will submit a full response and will also work with our members across the EU to share national-level experiences on lobby transparency. We will highlight our experiences of the poor data quality within the present register, illustrate the problems with the current complaint system, and share our detailed ideas for reform.

For more information contact:

Vicky Cann, Corporate Europe Observatory, 0044 (0)1494 864649

Fabian Flues, Friends of the Earth Europe, 0032 (0)2893 1024

Nina Katzemich, LobbyControl, 0049 (0)179 5093022

Related issues: 

CEO presents some first reflections on the UK's vote for Brexit.

Think tanks work all around the institutions of the European Union but how they work and who they work with is often less clear. Our new report offers a closer look at these supposedly impartial hubs of expertise and highlights how the think-tank status has become a convenient vehicle for corporate lobbying activities.

The European Commission proposal on scientific criteria defining endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is the latest dangerous outgrowth of a highly toxic debate. The chemical lobby, supported by certain Commission factions (notably DG SANTE and the Secretary-General) and some member states (UK and Germany), has put significant obstacles in the way of effective public health and environment regulation.

In the run up to the UK referendum on EU membership on 23 June, Corporate Europe Observatory has tabled a series of freedom of information requests to find out how UK finance lobbies have been influencing the referendum negotiations and the Capital Markets Union. But the Brexit-Bremain referendum seems to be a freedom of information black hole.

A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

José Manuel Barroso's move to Goldman Sachs has catapulted the EU’s revolving door problem onto the political agenda. It is symbolic of the excessive corporate influence at the highest levels of the EU.

Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth and LobbyControl today wrote to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, calling on him to investigate Angelika Nieber MEP over a possible conflict of interest.

CEO presents some first reflections on the UK's vote for Brexit.

-- placeholder --

The corporate lobby tour