Top EU institutions to use joint lobbyist register

Publication date: 
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Leigh Phillips
Media title: 

Until now the, two institutions had separate listings of the lobbyists who approach deputies and officials attempting to bend legislation, registries which have suffered from widespread criticism from democracy campaigners for the questionable accuracy [...] and for the voluntary nature of the disclosure process.


"The recent cash-for-amendments scandal highlighted that a softly-softly approach towards EU lobbying transparency does not work," said paul de Clerck of Alter-EU, a transparency pressure group.

Without tougher reporting standards, the group said, companies and lobby groups would continue to low-ball the estimates of the money they spend on influencing the legislative system. They gave the example of Colipa, the cosmetics industry lobby outfit, which reported that they spent just €50,000 in 2008, yet they maintain a staff of 20 lobbyists and support workers in Brussels.

BusinessEurope, the association representing the interests of the biggest industries in Europe and perhaps the most influential corporate lobbying group in the city, recorded that it spent between €550,000 and €600,000, a figure Alter-EU says is also unrealistically low.