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

 

Bratislava climber protest ends week of mobilisation against EU trade deals

Press release | September 23, 2016 at 12:00

Bratislava/Brussels – A daring protest high above the Slovak capital on Friday morning concluded an intense week of mobilisation across Europe against EU trade deals with Canada (known as CETA) and the US (known as TTIP). Greenpeace called on EU...

EU governments must reconnect with founding values of peace and solidarity

Press release | September 16, 2016 at 8:00

Bratislava, 16 September 2016 – This morning in Bratislava 29 Greenpeace activists from Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia demonstrated in support of a fairer and greener Europe, just as the leaders of 27 countries...

209 pesticides used in the EU could endanger humans or environment

Press release | July 27, 2016 at 10:53

27 July 2016 – Greenpeace Germany today published an updated version of The EU Pesticide Blacklist [1]. This catalogue, developed by an independent expert, classifies all pesticides authorised in the European Union according to their potential...

Greenpeace: time to hit the stop button on TTIP

Press release | July 15, 2016 at 16:14

Brussels – As the 14th round of troubled EU-US trade talks comes to a close in Brussels, Greenpeace has challenged the EU to put people and the environment back at the heart of its political ambitions.

Rush to adopt EU-Canada trade deal would widen distrust in mainstream politics

Press release | July 5, 2016 at 16:28

Brussels – The accelerated application of an EU-Canada trade deal (CETA) - as proposed today by the European Commission - would increase distrust in mainstream politics and threaten democracy and environmental protection, warned Greenpeace. The...

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