[Update] Lessons from Dalli scandal: Commission needs stronger ethics and transparency rules around lobbying + Commission answer

Publication date: 
Monday, November 5, 2012
Steering committee of ALTER-EU

Open letter to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission

Executive summary / policy recommendations: 

The Commission urgently needs to use more rigorous measures to avoid undue influence, introducing far stricter transparency and ethics rules around its contacts with lobbyists, and ensure these rules are stringently enforced. This must include:

1) Stronger conflicts of interest rules to prevent undue influence, and clearer procedures for enforcing such rules;

2) A high-quality, mandatory lobbying transparency register and pro-active transparency on Commission meetings with lobbyists.

Update: the Commission response to our letter with suggested improvements for the Commission's transparency regime was rather dissappointing, as it largely rejects our critisism and states it has acted transparent because it has given out some information in response to an access to documents request:

"Your allegations of lack of transparency on the part of the Commission are not founded as it appears from the fact that a large set of documents related to this issue have actually been released by the Commission under regulation 1049/2002, including four requests introduced by members of Alter EU."

Needless to say, that's not what we had in mind when we advocated 'pro-active transparency'. The full reply can be found attached.

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