Lobbying Transparency

28 Sep 2016
  • can-eu-hear-us

ALTER-EU reaction to Commission’s announcement on transparency register

Madrid/Brussels, 28 September 2016 - The European Commission has today published its proposal for a new inter-institutional agreement on the lobby transparency register [1], and the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) makes the following reaction: "The Commission’s response is too little too late. If you look at the political situation in Europe, the Commission should do its utmost to regain public trust. People want to know who their leaders are really working for, especially in the light of the scandals of former Commissioners Barroso and Kroes taking on high-level jobs with big multinational companies. This could have [...]

26 Sep 2016
  • eu_lobbying_tough_cartoon

Media Briefing: Busting the spin on lobby transparency

Madrid, 26 September 2016 - The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) has published a recap briefing for journalists about the limitations to the current EU lobby transparency register regime, in preparation for the expected proposal on a new register following a College of Commissioners meeting on 28 September. The briefing by ALTER-EU, of which Access Info Europe is a steering committee member, addresses questions such as will the new register be "mandatory" in reality? Will the Commission get to grips with the current lobby register's problem with dodgy data? And what is the added value of bringing [...]

6 Jun 2016
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Access Info defends citizens’ right to know as part of lobby transparency reforms

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 [...]

19 May 2016
  • Solar_panels

Spain’s extortionate Sunshine Tax is “a final solution for renewable energy”: What do the documents tell us?

Madrid, 19 May 2016 - On the day that the news is full of the fact that Portugal this month had four straight days of zero emissions energy production using renewable sources (full story here), documents obtained by Access Info Europe using Spain’s Transparency Law reveal the tense political battles behind a controversial 2015 law that imposes prohibitive taxes on use of home-produced energy (such as from solar power). Spain – a country replete with sunshine, wind and waves – could be breaking the same records as Portugal, but instead the renewables sector has been undermined and citizens who generate [...]

12 May 2016
  • ministerio de industria

Spain: NGOs go to court to obtain documents about lobbying on a controversial energy law

Madrid 12 May 2016 – Two Spanish NGOs are challenging in court a decision by the Transparency Council granting only partial access to lobby documents submitted during elaboration of a controversial 2015 Law that imposes prohibitive taxes on use of home-produced energy (such as from solar power). Access Info Europe and the Platform for a New Energy Model in December 2015 had requested all documents submitted by third parties to the Ministry of Industry; the Ministry denied access on the grounds that the documents are “internal”, invoking one of the most problematic provisions of Spain’s 2013 Transparency Law. The Transparency [...]

18 Apr 2016
  • timmermans

Will Timmermans really shed light on lobbying in Brussels?

This article was originally published by ALTER-EU. Brussels, 18 April 2016 - Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans' launch in March of a consultation to improve the EU lobby register came seven months late. Does it herald a genuine step forward towards improved lobby transparency in Brussels? A database of organisations working to influence EU legislation, the European transparency register was designed to boost the image and integrity of the institutions. The Commission's latest moves to reassess the tool are welcome, however campaigners and veterans of such processes would be forgiven for being a little weary at the thought of yet another [...]

22 Mar 2016
  • NatRepBrussels_Report_Cover

Member state offices in Brussels wide open to corporate lobbyists

Brussels/Madrid, 22 March 2016 – Corporate lobbyists enjoy widespread access to member state representations by exploiting loopholes in EU transparency rules according to the first ever study on lobbying activities at national government offices in Brussels.[1] The study, ‘National representations in Brussels: open for corporate lobbyists’ by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), reveals how these government missions to EU institutions are a target for big business lobbyists looking to promote their agendas. Vicky Cann, Corporate Europe Observatory, said:“This report demonstrates that there is a worrying level of corporate lobbying directed at the EU's permanent representations. These [...]

17 Dec 2015
  • fismalist

Civil society expose holes in EU lobby transparency rules

This post was originally published by ALTER-EU. Madrid/Brussels, 17 December 2015 - Research by ALTER-EU member groups Corporate Europe Observatory, Access Info Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe shows that well over 90 per cent of meetings between DG FISMA (the Commission's department for financial regulation) officials not covered by transparency rules and lobbyists are with the corporate sector. Since the end of 2014, following an initiative by new European Commission President Juncker, the meetings of commissioners, their cabinets and directors-general with lobbyists are published online. This transparency initiative has enabled the public to see which lobbyists get most [...]

26 Jun 2015
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Lobbying Transparency via RTI Laws

This document sets out the classes of information that should be made available by public bodies in order to get a full picture of the influence of interest groups, particularly lobbyists, on governmental and legislative decision making. You can download the report in PDF and in Word . If you have any comments about the contents of this report, we are happy to hear from you. For a member of the public to be able to follow how a particular decision is being or was taken, it is essential that there be full transparency about the influences which shaped that [...]

26 Jun 2015
  • Int_Watch_TIEU

New lobby transparency civic-tech tools reveal corporate dominance of the Brussels bubble

Madrid, 25 June 2015 - The RTI community celebrated this week the launch of two groundbreaking online tools that enable citizens to monitor the interactions between high-level European Commission officials and lobbyists in the Brussels bubble: » LobbyFacts.eu, created by ALTER-EU's Corporate Europe's Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe and LobbyControl, and relaunched last week, is a site that delivers easy access to data from the EU Transparency Register, allowing you to compare entries over time and to sort and rank the data contained in the EU's (still voluntary) Transparency Register; » IntegrityWatch.eu, created by the Transparency International EU office, [...]