The European Union recently saw a string of scandals with European Parliamentarians who took money from journalists posing as corporate lobbyists to influence legislation and former EU Commissioners that took lucrative jobs in companies they used to oversee and regulate. The European Alliance for more Transparency in Lobbying (Alter-EU) is arguing for strict rules and registration of corporate lobbyists. The coalition is active in exposing corruption and laying bare the corporate dominance in the European Union. EPSU, Europe’s 8 million strong public service trade union federation, has renewed its commitment to the Alliance and the revised action points.
EPSU’s Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan says: "We support the work of Alter-EU to expose the influence money buys. Day and night ten thousands in the business community are working to weaken, prevent and circumvent rules and regulations that protect workers and citizens. They work against the public interest to advance narrow concerns. These corporate interests dominate the over 1000 advisory and other technical Commission bodies at the expense of consumers’ and workers’ interests. We do not want a Europe dominated by corporate power at the expense of citizen participation."
The corruption of some MEPs and the continued dominance of the Commission’s advisory groups are particular concerns. EPSU was one of the first organizations to sign up to the original platform of demands. Several years after we renew our commitment. The EPSU Executive Committee met 13 and 14 April 2011, Brussels. It brings together leaders of public service unions of all European countries.
Alter-EU is the Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation in the EU. www.alter-eu.org
The 10 Action Points of the Coalition:
1. A high-quality, mandatory lobbying transparency register 2. Full transparency and safeguards against corporate capture of Commission advisory groups 3. Closing the revolving door between the European Commission and industry lobbies 4. Effective conflicts of interest rules for Commissioners and Commission officials 5. Effective conflict of interest rules for Commission Special Advisers 6. Independent monitoring and enforcement 7. Upgrading European Parliament transparency and ethics rules to prevent conflicts of interest 8. Pro-active transparency by Commission and Parliament 9. Enforceable ethics rules for lobbyists 10. Citizens’ democracy versus corporate capture
EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC and comprises 8 million public service workers from over 250 trade unions; EPSU organises workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration, in all European countries including in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood. EPSU is the recognized regional organization of Public Services International (PSI).