Over one hundred NGOs from around the world, including the Sunlight Foundation, have sent a joint letter to the EU Commission to urge stronger action to create a high-quality and legally-binding EU lobbying transparency register.
The letter calls on the commission to adopt measures to reduce opportunities for unethical lobbying, and to ensure a better balance between corporate and public interest groups in the access to, and influence they have on, EU decision-making processes.
ALTER-EU and the 113 signatory organizations to the letter have specifically called on the commission to:
- Immediately extend its ban on meeting unregistered lobbyists so that it applies to all staff, to further boost registrations;
- Make detailed proposals on the disclosure of additional and more precise information, including further details about the dossiers lobbied on;
- Commit to an open and transparent process with other EU institutions to improve the lobby register, which would include substantial opportunities for input by citizens and civil society;
- Commit to increasing the resources devoted to this area so that monitoring and enforcement of the rules can become far more effective; and
- Commit to including the objective of a lobby register that is legally-binding on lobbyists and thus truly mandatory (requiring legislation) in its proposed Inter-Institutional Agreement as a medium-term option to ensure that all EU lobbyists sign up.
Civil society groups have previously welcomed the steps the Juncker Commission has taken to increase lobbying transparency at the European level, including the ban on senior commission representatives from holding meetings with unregistered lobbyists. However, since the ban on meetings with lobbyists only covers around 300 people out of a commission staff of 33,000, the current measures still do not go far enough to ensure that the register is “mandatory” in practice.
To see the full list of signatories to the letter, please click here.