"I must be careful: there is a smell to lobbying.." (Ernst Strasser, ex-MEP/lobbyist)

Publication date: 
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The Insight Team
Media title: 
The Sunday Times

"The problem is, a lobbyist is a lobbyist, yes," Ernst Strasser said in a soft Austrian accent. "And a lobbyist has some special smell. It's true to be said I am myself something like that. So we have to be very careful."


Today SpinWatch, one of the ALTER-EU steering committee member that campaigns for more transparency and better ethics regulation, has published a report showing how reforms to safeguard consumers are being blocked by lobbyists in Brussels working for the banking industry. The report can be found under documents on this site.

The main role of an MEP is to amend legislation initiated by the European commission. On average a piece of legislation attracts 50 to 100 amendments, but a hedge fund directive last year amassed more than 1,600.
"Research shows that two-thirds of these came from the hedge fund industry or lobbyists working on their behalf," said Olivier Hoedeman of the campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory [and ALTER-EU steering committee member].