Brussels, 15 July 2014 – Access Info Europe as part of ALTER-EU is calling upon Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ensure that improvements in the area of lobby transparency, conflicts of interest, and ethics are placed high on the agenda of the new European Commission, as they prepare to quiz its president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker today.

During the recent EU elections, 177 elected MEPs signed ALTER-EU’s Politics for People pledge in which they committed to “stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business” upon entering office.

Our opinion poll showed 73% of citizens are concerned that lobbyists representing the business sector have too much influence on EU decisions. The Commission will need to address this lack of transparency around lobbying and decision-making in its next legislative term, and MEPs are obliged to hold them to account on this,” commented Pam Bartlett Quintanilla from Access Info Europe.

The parliamentary hearings for the president-elect and other commissioner candidates are one of the few opportunities for MEPs to keep the European Commission directly accountable for its appointments. It is also a unique chance to secure public commitments from the Commissioners, who can then be held to account over the next legislative term (2014-2019) for promises made.

Max Bank of LobbyControl, who is  also a member of ALTER-EU’s steering committee, continued: “ALTER-EU priority’s areas for Commission action include: blocking the revolving door for commissioners and Commission staff; taking action to clean up expert groups; and making a genuine commitment to ensuring the work of the European  Commission, including its contacts with lobby groups, are made fully transparent. We hope that MEPs will take action to firmly place these issues on the agenda of the president-elect of the Commission in order that improvements are made in practice over the next term.”

A full explanation of ALTER-EU’s policy priorities is available here.

For more information please contact:

Pam Bartlett Quintanilla | Access Info Europe +34 913 656 558