Call for stricter lobby rules after Dalli Scandal
Brussels, 5 November 2012 – Civil society groups have today written to the European Commission President urging him to end the secrecy around the resignation of the former Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli
Campaign groups in the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) call on President Barroso to introduce stricter transparency and ethics rules to curb the privileged access of lobbyists to EU decision-making .
Their letter comes ahead of a meeting between José Manuel Barroso and the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament . It follows the scandal which erupted following the resignation of Commissioner Dalli, the confusion surrounding the conditions of the resignation, and alleged attempts at undue influence by the tobacco industry.
Olivier Hoedeman from Corporate Europe Observatory, an ALTER-EU member group, said: “The Commission must end its secrecy around this lobby scandal. Whether this is a lobbyist selling influence-for-cash, a tobacco industry set-up to delay and weaken legislation, or a combination of both, it is clear that the current EU rules around Commissioners’ contact with lobbyists are inadequate.”
Paul de Clerck from Friends of the Earth Europe and member of ALTER-EU’s steering committee added: “Consultants offering clients access to high level decision-makers for money is unfortunately common practice in Brussels. We have still not had a satisfactory explanation of Mr Dalli’s resignation. Contact with private lobbyists is not normally a reason for Commissioners to have to resign. The Commission needs to come clean and give the real reasons why Dalli had to step down.”
The ALTER-EU coalition demands an overhaul of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners, a high-quality, mandatory lobbying transparency register and pro-active transparency on Commission meetings with lobbyists.
For more information, please contact:
Pam Bartlett Quintanilla, Access Info Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org, +34 699 35 42 15
Olivier Hoedeman, Corporate Europe Observatory, email@example.com, +32 4744 86 545
Paul de Clerck, Friends of the Earth Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 4943 80 959