Access without accountability

Lobbying of MEPs has increased since the the European Parliament gained new legislative powers with the adoption of the EU Lisbon Treaty

 

Over 15,000 professional lobbyists operate in Brussels, a large majority representing business interests. Yet ethics and transparency rules around lobbying are virtually non-existent. Beyond the problem of business spending ever increasing amounts to influence the political process, the European Commission has developed a tradition of awarding privileged access to corporate interests. The enormous influence of corporate lobbyists undermines democracy and all too frequently results in postponing, weakening or blocking urgently needed progress in EU social, environmental and consumer protections.

Greenpeace is an active member of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), a coalition of over 160 civil society groups, trade unions, academics and public affairs firms campaigning for a minimum of:

EU lobbying disclosure legislation, which must include:
-A mandatory system of electronic registration and reporting for all lobbyists with a significant annual lobbying budget. The reports must be made available in a fully accessible database;

-Enforceable ethics rules for lobbyists, for instance prohibiting employment of officials or their relatives for lobbying purposes.

An improved code of conduct for European Commission officials, including:
-Recording of formal and informal meetings between Commission officials and lobbyists and logging of correspondence, to be made available in a fully searchable online database;

-An extended ‘cooling off’ period before Commissioners and senior officials can start working for lobby groups or lobbying advisory firms;

-The European Commission should encourage the other EU institutions, particularly the European Parliament and the European Council, to develop similar rules.

The Commission must terminate privileged access and undue influence granted to corporate lobbyists, for instance:

-Joint taskforces in which corporate interests are represented while public interest NGOs are not, such as Cars 21 which consists of Commission officials, CEOs and lobbyists from the automobile industry, but no environmental NGOs;

-The privileged status accorded to business lobby groups like the European Services Forum and the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue.

The latest updates

 

Supercredits briefing

Publication | April 23, 2013 at 8:30

Brussels – In advance of this week’s vote in the European Parliament environment committee on the car CO2 emission standards, Greenpeace is today releasing a briefing and infographic on the effect that so-called supercredits would have on the...

Briefing: Tired of Hot Air?

Publication | March 1, 2013 at 9:00

A briefing sheet on the myths and realities of car emissions in Europe since 2007.

Briefing: The case for 2025 targets for CO2 emissions from cars and vans

Publication | January 10, 2013 at 9:00

The EU has set a legally-binding target for new cars to emit no more than 95 grammes of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2020. The target for vans is 147g/km. In July 2012, the European Commission announced its proposals on how these targets should...

Green NGO letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the Irish EU presidency

Publication | December 10, 2012 at 10:57

Letter on behalf of the Green 10.

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