EU Parliament: Make lobbying transparent, close revolving doors!
There are more lobbyists around the EU institutions in Brussels than in any other European capital. The quick move through the revolving doors by former EU Commission President Barroso to Goldman Sachs, or the undeclared offshore company held by former EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, have stirred public distrust around the independence of individual EU politicians. In times when populists mobilise against the European idea, European democracy needs to step up to regain the trust of the people more than ever.
Right now, we have the chance to achieve better lobbying transparency and to enact clear rules on conflicts of interests in the European Parliament. In the coming weeks, we will negotiate the new binding rules on transparency and integrity for EU parliamentarians (MEPs), which are laid down in the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. Conservatives (EPP), Social Democrats (S&D) and Liberals (ALDE) are currently blocking lobbying transparency. This petition should change their mind!
Only if politicians enact and abide by strong ethics rules can we strengthen the trust of people in politics. The whole point of the rules must be to ensure that politicians serve only the common good. As a Member of the European Parliament and longstanding activist for lobbying transparency, I demand:
1. Make lobby transparency mandatory! MEPs should meet only with lobbyists who are registered in the EU transparency register. “No registration, no meeting” should be the rule.
2. Close the revolving door! MEPs receive a transitional allowance for 6-24 months after their mandate. During this period they should not be allowed to take up work as a lobbyist. They should also have to notify any new job to the EU Parliament.
3. Sanctions for breaching the rules! MEPs who do not reveal conflicts of interest or who breach other transparency and integrity rules should be penalised through financial sanctions.
This petition was also launched in German, in French by Eva Joly and Pascal Durand, in Hungarian by Benedek Jávor as well as in Spanish and Catalan by Ernest Urtasun, Ernest Maragall and Florent Marcellesi.
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