Merkel attends European Council

MEPs urge Merkel to boost transparency and tackle privileged access during EU Presidency

Almost 100 Members of the European Parliament have seized the momentum of the new German EU Presidency starting on 1 July to demand that Chancellor Angela Merkel puts transparency of decision-making in the Council, lobby transparency, and tackling privileged access to decision-makers at the heart of the upcoming German EU Presidency.

The German EU Presidency comes at an absolutely critical time in both the corona crisis and the climate crisis, and there should be no business as usual. With industry lobbyists demanding bail-outs and deregulation, and difficult decisions being made about the winners and losers of post-coronavirus recovery programmes, transparent decision-making that prioritises the public interest will be key. The MEPs call for an EU recovery package based on social justice, solidarity among nations, and green stimulus which puts sustainability at its heart.

The letter has been coordinated by lobby watchdogs Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl and it seeks to build on the recent work of MEPs, the European Ombudsman, and civil society. It calls on the German Presidency to:

  • Prioritise legislative transparency in Council policy-making
  • Prioritise lobby transparency in the Council and in Berlin
  • Adopt new rules and a new culture to prevent excessive corporate influence on its EU Presidency and beyond
  • Refuse all sponsorship of the Council Presidency, cancel any existing contracts, and initiate a process in the Council to ban this practice.

Martin Schirdewan MEP (GUE-NGL) said:

“Meetings behind closed doors, minutes not publicly available, secret lobbying meetings and corporate sponsorship... in few other areas do the reality and self-perception of the EU diverge so much as in the lack of transparency in the Council. Germany now has the chance to put an end to such undemocratic activity during its Presidency of the Council. We need transparency in policy-making and on lobbying in Brussels and Berlin. This means new rules and a new culture to prevent excessive corporate influence and an end to all corporate sponsorship of presidencies.”

Marianne Vind MEP (S&D) said:

“Whether you sit in the Council or in the Parliament, we as politicians serve the citizens of Europe, and they deserve to know what their elected officials are fighting for and who they are influenced by. Greater transparency is absolutely crucial to ensure democratic support for the European project.”

The 92 Members of the European Parliament who have signed this letter are:

Alice Kuhnke MEP, Alviina Alametsä MEP, Anja Hazekamp MEP, Anna Cavazzini MEP, Anna Donáth MEP, Aurore Lalucq MEP, Bas Eickhout MEP, Birgit Sippel MEP, Brando Benifei MEP, Christel Schaldemose MEP, Ciarán Cuffe MEP, Clare Daly MEP, Claude Gruffat MEP, Cornelia Ernst MEP, Damian Boeselager MEP, Damien Carême MEP, Daniel Freund MEP, Dimitrios Papadimoulis MEP, Domènec Ruiz Devesa MEP, Eleonora Evi MEP, Erik Marquardt MEP, Francisco Guerreiro MEP, Giorgos Georgiou MEP, Grace O’Sullivan MEP, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP, Heidi Hautala MEP, Helmut Scholz MEP, Henrike Hahn MEP, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz MEP, Isabel Santos MEP, Jakop Dalunde MEP, Javier Nart MEP, Jutta Paulus MEP, Katalin Cseh MEP, Kateřina Konečná MEP, Kathleen Van Brempt MEP, Katrin Langensiepen MEP, Kim van Sparrentak MEP, Kira Peter-Hansen MEP, Konstantinos Arvanitis MEP, Lara Wolters MEP, Leila Chaibi MEP, Malin Björk MEP, Manon Aubry MEP, Manu Pineda MEP, Manuel Bompard MEP, Marc Angel MEP, Marc Botenga MEP, Marcel Kolaja MEP, Margrete Auken MEP, María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop MEP, Maria Noichl MEP, Marianne Vind MEP, Marie Toussaint MEP, Markéta Gregorová MEP, Martin Schirdewan MEP, Martina Michels MEP, Michael Bloss MEP, Michèle Rivasi MEP, Mick Wallace MEP, Miguel Urbán Crespo MEP, Mikuláš Peksa MEP, Monika Vana MEP, Mounir Satouri MEP, Nico Semsrott MEP, Niels Fuglsang MEP, Niklas Nienaß MEP, Nikolaj Villumsen MEP, Özlem Demirel MEP, Pär Holmgren MEP, Pascal Durand MEP, Patrick Breyer MEP, Paul Tang MEP, Pernando Barrena MEP, Petra De Sutter MEP, Petros Kokkalis MEP, Philippe Lamberts MEP, Ramona Strugariu MEP, Raphaël Glucksmann MEP, Rasmus Andresen MEP, Sarah Wiener MEP, Saskia Bricmont MEP, Sira Rego MEP, Stelios Kouloglou MEP, Sven Giegold MEP, Tanja Fajon MEP, Terry Reintke MEP, Thomas Waitz MEP, Tiemo Wölken MEP, Tilly Metz MEP, Tineke Strik MEP, Victor Negrescu MEP.


Notes to editors

  • Read the full MEP letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel here.

  • A new report on the German EU Presidency and the lobby power of key industries will be published by CEO and LobbyControl on Tuesday 23 June.

  • An in-depth report about the lobby influence on EU member states’ decision-making in the Council of the EU was published by Corporate Europe Observatory in February 2019. Captured states: when EU governments are a channel for corporate interests is available here.



Lobby Control: Nina Katzemich +49 (0)179 509 3022

Corporate Europe Observatory: Vicky Cann +44 (0)7960 988096

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