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MEPs furious at Commission over shady expert groups


17 Feb 2011


EU Priorities 2020

Speaking in a heated debate in plenary on Commission expert groups during which Commissioner Šefčovič failed to answer any questions from MEPs on achieving balanced representation and transparency in such groups, Dutch MEP and initiator of the debate, Dennis de Jong called for transparency and an end to the domination of big business.


"Trade unions, consumer organizations and representatives of the Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises face a huge lack of resources unlike big companies that can hire professional lobbyists. The interests of workers, consumers and small businesses are not being represented fairly because of the price tag attached."


The Commission uses approximately 1000 expert groups mainly populated by the lobbyists of large corporations for advice on laws and regulations in all areas of its competence.


"All social organizations are short of money and big companies can hire lobbyists to have their voices heard - that must change" he said, demanding that Commissioner Šefčovič ensure that conflicts of interest are prevented.


MEPs are seeking to force transparency by bringing the issue under rules governing access to documents and setting up a formal dialogue on new rules on expert groups with the Commission.


De Jong finished by questioning the Commissioner on "why the Commission website cites Greenpeace as a participant in the 'Implementing Geological Disposal' Technology Platform when I have correspondence between Greenpeace and the Commission showing that the application for their participation was explicitly rejected?"



David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28
Inga Keilmann (DE) +32 493 60 10 23
European United Left/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group