DMT Good Practice Examples2017-05-12T12:17:35+00:00

DECISION-MAKING TRANSPARENCY
IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE

The European Parliament at its best
The European Commission at its best

Individual MEPs

Similar to legislative footprints, but on a more general note, some parliamentarians have voluntarily disclosed
information on meetings with interest groups. For example:

Sven Giegold
(Greens/EFA)

How is he setting an example?

Reinhard Bütikhofer
(Greens/EFA)

How is he setting an example?

Richard Corbett
(S&D)

How is he setting an example?

Keith Taylor
(Greens/EFA)

How is he setting an example?

Political Groups in the EP

Two European Parliament political groups have decided to implement a series of transparency good practice via the disclosure of key decision-making process documents related to lobbying:

The UK MEPs who sit in the European and Conservative and Reformists Group (ECR) have adopted a “Policy on transparency regarding Lobbying” and since 2010, records of the meetings they have with stakeholders are published online each semester. The information provided proactively includes:

» The date of the meeting,
» The name of the lobbyist,
» The organisation(s) represented,
» The clients represented (although this field is often left blank),
» The context in which they meet.

The latest report is available here.

However, the level of detail reported by each individual MEPs varies considerably, with some reporting no lobby contacts at all in the past six months, whilst others provide details of dinners, calls and conferences, or of tours and visits.

The specificity of the subject matter also varies as some descriptions are rather vague, for example “UK economic recovery”, whilst others, such as those reported by Nerj Deva, (“To discuss chemical regulation in Europe with regards to manoeuvrability and restrictions on the use of Chromium 6”) and Charles Tannock (“Attended an event to hear about the establishment of a Credit Union outlet in my constituency in order to learn about the services it can offer local residents”) are much more complete.

The UK Conservatives also list information about their membership in European Parliamentary Intergroups, clubs, fora or body of any kind with an interest in European Parliamentary activities.

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Founded on the belief that it is secret lobbying that is the problem for transparency in the EU decision-making process, LobbyCloud confirms the authenticity of lobby documents uploaded by users, thus making lobby contributions visible to the public and enhancing informed debate. Examples:

» Document on climate change – Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC).
» Document by US Chamber of Commerce and BusinessEurope: suggestions on how a regulatory component could be developed by describing the provisions that should be included in the EU-US agreement). Name of Contributor of document not available.
» Document by Group of Tobacco Researchers on the Tobacco Products Directive: various suggestions including counter-argument to claim that over 60 mg of nicotine in e-cigarette liquid is lethal etc) Name of Contributor of document not available.
» Document by TVECA on Tobacco Products Directive: strongly encouraging the adoption of the directive for stronger regulation of e-cigarette industry.
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European Parliament Reports

EUROPEAN COMMISSION

On 1 December 2014, the European Commission adopted a new policy whereby:

» Commissioners, Directors General and members of their cabinet can no longer meet with unregistered lobbyists.

» Commissioners, Directors General and members of their cabinet must publish information about meetings that they hold with lobbyists. Although this information is currently spread over more than 80 different websites, the format is all the same and the information can be downloaded in xml file, which at least permits comparability. Commissioners publish the name of the lobby organisation they met with but not the names of individual lobbyists.

» Apart from publishing information about her meetings with lobbyists, Cecilia Malmström, the EU Commissioner for Trade, publishes on her website correspondence received from organisations, companies, ministries and individuals acting in an official capacity. You can also see her responses to the letters and emails received from interest groups. As far as letters from the general public are concerned, Malmström publishes the subject of the correspondence but not the full content, unless the person concerned explicitly consents to having their correspondence made public.

European Commission, 2014

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