Madrid, 31 January 2013 — In the midst of a major scandal involving possible irregular payments to leading members of Spain’s governing party using money from major companies, a European opinion poll conducted just a few days ago reveals that 82% of Spaniards believe that lobbying from the business sector may lead to government policies which are not in the public interest.
Also conducted in Austria, France, the Netherlands, the UK and the Czech Republic, the survey asked about the influence and regulation of lobbying in Europe. In response to this poll, 80% of Spaniards said that they believed that lobbyists exercised great influence over EU policy making and 88% thought that lobbyists should be subject to mandatory regulation.
Access Info Europe is calling for greater transparency in decision-making processes to include transparency laws applicable to all powers of the state and mandatory regulation of lobbying to ensure complete transparency, thus limiting the influence of private interests on public policy.
“It is essential for us to know who our parliamentary representatives meet, so that we may understand how decisions are made. To do so, it is vital that we have transparency in lobbying,” affirms Pam Bartlett Quintanilla, campaigns coordinator for Access Info Europe.
This survey also reflects concerns of the Spanish population about transparency regarding action in response to the financial crisis: 88% of those polled believe that all documents about what the European Central Bank is doing should be publicly available while 89% also think that the EU should publish information on how EU money is spent by Member States.
Last of all, when asked about possible conflicts of interest, 62% of Spaniards believe that MEPs should not work in private companies while serving as elected representatives while 83% of those polled are less confident that an MEP will represent the best interests of citizens if they also work in the private sector.
For more information, please contact:
Pam Bartlett, Access Info Europe
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | tel: +34 91 365 65 58 | mobile: +34 699 354 215
Victoria Anderica, Access Info Europe
e-mail: email@example.com | tel: +34 91 365 65 58 | mobile: + 34 606 592 976