Madrid, 6 June 2016 – Access Info Europe has called on the European Union and the Council of Europe to ensure that future lobby control rules that both are in the process of developing are fully in line with The International Standards for Lobbying Regulation.
In submissions to separate public consultations held by the EU and Council of Europe, the pro-transparency organisation underscored the need for lobbying regulation to ensure that full information on the activity of lobbyists is both recorded and published.
In response to the EU consultation Access Info proposed EU institutions keep better records of interactions with lobbyists, which should be published proactively. Access Info also urged that in future lobbyists be required to provide more detailed and accurate information to a strengthened lobby register.
“It is still too hard for the European public to find out who is meeting with whom in Brussels and what lobbyists are pressing public officials to do,” stated Andreas Pavlou of Access Info Europe.
“The reform of EU lobby transparency rules should oblige EU institutions to capture and proactively publish more information so that citizens have accurate and timely data on who lobbies whom, on which topics, and how much they spend doing so,” Pavlou added.
The civil society organisation called upon EU institutions to commit to a mandatory lobby transparency regime rather than a voluntary one. This would oblige all lobbyists to sign up to the register, and include a well-resourced Secretariat that monitors compliance and can apply sanctions where necessary.
Council of Europe Draft Recommendation
In April, Access Info submitted comments to the Council of Europe consultation on its Draft Recommendation on regulating lobbying activities.
Access Info welcomed the clear and comprehensive definition of lobbyist proposed by the Council of Europe, the requirement to create a lobby register, inclusion of core standards on ethical behaviour, inclusion of an oversight body, and sanctions for non-compliance.
The development of a recommendation by the Council of Europe on lobbying transparency is timely given a rise in the number of European governments proposing or planning to propose draft legislation on lobbying regulation.
For more information, please contact:
Andreas Pavlou | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558