EPSU agrees firmer EP action needed on lobby transparency

(17 March) EPSU fully supports the lobby transparency coalition position that ‘the European Parliament (EP) must do much more to improve lobby transparency’.

A 100 civil society organisations have written an open letter to MEPs asking the EP to do more to improve lobby transparency. The coalition warns that the European Commission’s current proposals to revise the European Union’s Transparency Register would lead to less, not more scrutiny, of lobbyists activities.

The EU institutions are expected to begin negotiating revising the EU Transparency register in the coming weeks. The coalition of the Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), Civil Society Europe and Transparency International have come to together to make a series of demands to ensure that the reform is meaningful and effective.

EPSU’s General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan commented: ‘It is essential that the upcoming revision of the Transparency Register leads to a more robust system, in which scrutiny of lobbyists activities is strengthened not weakened’.

The lobby transparency coalition are calling on MEPs to show;

  • a strong commitment to only meet registered lobbyists
  • a financial commitment to help the register secretariat ensure data quality
  • retaining the existing definition of lobbying, which includes direct and indirect lobbying (i.e. lobby
  • consultancies)
  • a commitment to a legally-binding lobby register in the long term

The transparency coalition also believes that 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.

EPSU has been supporting the work of Alter-EU since its beginning.

Click here to read ALTER-EU open letter and Press Release