Lobbying Transparency

17 Mar 2017
  • A wide view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Parliament at its 60th anniversary commemoration of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Parliament inaction on lobby transparency could sink register reform

[Article first published by the ALTER-EU] Madrid/Brussels, 17 March 2017 - The European Parliament must do more to improve lobby transparency, 100 civil society organisations urged in an open letter published today. MEPs were warned that the European Commission's current proposal for a revised EU Transparency Register would allow for even less scrutiny than the existing one, and that to champion greater transparency across all EU institutions, they must start with their own house first. A few weeks before Commission, Parliament and Council are expected to start negotiating a revision of the joint EU Transparency Register, the Alliance for Lobby [...]

20 Feb 2017
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Commission data reveals lobby transparency loopholes and corporate bias

[Article first published by ALTER-EU.] President Juncker´s proactive transparency policy continues to fail to address loopholes in lobbying transparency rules and does not ensure balanced stakeholder consultation, according to a new analysis by the Alliance for Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU). Brussels/Madrid, 20 February 2017 - ALTER-EU criticised the loopholes in the Commission’s policy on lobby transparency after its latest research exposes that 81 per cent of lobby meetings with DG FISMA between January and July 2016 fell outside the current proactive transparency obligations. These meetings (held only with lower-level officials) are not subject to the Commission’s disclosure regime and [...]

30 Sep 2016
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Formal complaint to President Juncker on Barroso, Kroes and De Gucht revolving door cases filed by ALTER-EU

[UPDATE - 8 November 2016 - On 2 November 2016 ALTER-EU responded to the Ad Hoc Ethics Committee opinion which said Barroso’s new role at Goldman Sachs International was not a breach of the rules. Read the statement here.] [UPDATE - 13 October 2016 - On 12 October 2016 ALTER-EU handed over to to Secretary-General Alexander Italianer the 63,000 signatures gathered through the WeMove petition Barroso, don’t sell our public interest to Goldman Sachs, demanding greater ethics and transparency and to put a stop to revolving doors.] Madrid-Brussels, 30 September 2016 - The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) [...]

28 Sep 2016
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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
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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 [...]

27 Jul 2016
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AYUNTAMIENTO UBICADO EN EL PALACIO DE CIBELES
VISTA DEL AYUNTAMIENTO CON LA FUENTE CIBELES EN PRIMER TERMINO

Madrid City Adopts Strong Transparency and Lobby Regulation Rules

Madrid, 27 July 2016 - The Madrid City Council today approved one of the most progressive sub-national transparency regimes in Europe, encompassing proactive publication on a broad scale, the right to request information, including via anonymous requests, and a strong lobby regulation that requires the registration of lobbyists before they meet with public officials. Welcoming the new package of open government measures, Access Info Europe noted that the holistic approach to transparency sets a standard not only in Spain but across Europe and globally, particularly since the Madrid City Hall is a member of the Open Government Partnership sub-national pilot [...]

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
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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
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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
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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 [...]