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European Union to be leader in transparency as MEPs vote for better lobby control


14 Sep 2017


Innovation & Enterprise
Public Affairs

Strasbourg, 14 September 2017

Despite resistance from the conservatives, the European Parliament today adopted a number of measures to enhance the transparency of the European institutions and to stop secretive lobbying practices.

S&D Group spokesperson on constitutional affairs, Mercedes Bresso MEP said:

“Today’s vote to stop secretive lobbying is a victory for transparency. This positive outcome of the vote is the result of the strong support from the Socialists and Democrats against the opposition from the conservatives.”

Jo Leinen, S&D MEP and member of the constitutional affairs committee, added:

"Already today, the European Union is more transparent than most of its member states, but we are more ambitious. Everybody should have access to the information about who represents which interests using what means. This is especially important in the case of the EU, where the distance between the institutions and its citizens leaves room for mistrust to grow.

“We also call for strengthening of the EU transparency register to prevent real clients hiding behind fictitious companies. In future, all lobbyists and stakeholders should be obliged to disclose their finances and clients, as well as non-governmental organisations and big donors, just as political parties are already required to do. We also need better control of the data provided.

“It is crucial that the Council finally participates in the EU lobby register. The meetings held with member states are the shady corners among the EU institutions. The Council of Ministers does not behave like a legislative chamber, it acts as if it were the Vienna Congress. Such an attitude is not compatible with EU democracy.

“Only registered stakeholders should have access to decision-makers. We want relevant staff members in the Commission to only meet with registered stakeholders and publish these meetings," added Jo Leinen. "While the top floor of the Commission is now well lit, no one knows who goes in and out on the lower floors."



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