Secretive lobbying undermines democracy and citizens’ trust in governments and the EU institutions. Transparency International’s research shows that hidden and undue influence by lobbyists continues to shape laws across Europe. We have seen pharma lobbying keeping dangerous medicines on the market. We have seen banks writing the laws and regulations that are supposed to control them. And we have seen restrictions for the tobacco and alcohol industries pushed back time and again.
Many fear that the Transatlantic Free Trade agreement (TTIP) is shaped by big-business lobbying, but without transparency we don’t know if politicians are making decisions in the best interest of the public.
This is because the current rules are weak or just voluntary. There is a risk that those with the most money and the best connections are influencing politics unfairly.
Transparency International is working hard to shed more light on EU lobbying. We need much stricter rules. Without a reliable register we cannot even be sure how many lobbyists there are, how much money they spend and which laws they are trying to influence.
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, has promised to make his Commission the most transparent ever and to create a mandatory lobby register for the EU Institutions. The petitioners urge the three EU Institutions (Commission, Parliament and Council) to live up to their political promises, by:
- Making sure that all lobby organisations sign up to the EU Register. Unregistered lobby organisations should no longer get meetings and should not be invited to hearings or expert groups.
- Ensuring that all EU institutions are covered, including the Council which has not even joined the current voluntary system. Political leaders and their close advisors should publish their meetings online.
- Making the information provided on the register much more reliable. Therefore we need a robust monitoring system and sanctions for those lobbyists that do not play by the rules.
Help us to turn the spotlight on EU lobbying. Sign our petition and call for an effective mandatory lobby register.