Brussels, 28 November 2019 – The incoming president of the European Council, Charles Michel has been called on to commit to full transparency of lobbying, in a letter sent today by Access Info Europe, along with 30 civil society organisations members of the ALTER-EU lobby transparency platform.
The letter, coordinated by ALTER-EU (The Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation) also calls for action on enforcing the rule of law, avoiding corporate capture, and boosting ethics regulation.
Particularly important is the call for the President of the Council to publish proactively, in full, a list of all meetings that he and his Cabinet hold with lobbyists. This should include the name of the organisation, the name of the lobbyists, the date, the venue, and details on the topics covered, in line with the recent suggestions of the European Ombudsman.
“Our concern is that the Council President does hold meetings with unregistered lobbyists,” explained Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info, and one of the members of the ALTER-EU Steering Committee.
Another demand is that the European Council support the establishment of a strong and legally-binding EU lobby transparency register across the EU institutions. This is something on which civil society, including Access Info, has been campaigning for a number of years. It was not secured by the previous Commission and Parliament and is a priority for the coming legislature.
“It is high time that we have full transparency of corporate influence in Brussels, so that we can ensure the equal participation of all stakeholders in decision making about vital issues that affect the future of all 520 million European,” added Darbishire.