Transparency coalition launches e-petition to demand a mandatory lobby register

Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Press release issued by: 
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU)

ALTER-EU has today launched an e-petition to demand MEPs and the Commission commit to introducing a mandatory lobby register for the EU institutions. [1]

The current EU transparency register, which is voluntary, is highly flawed. Thousands of lobbyists boycott the transparency rules while many of the companies and organisations that do sign up, fail to provide accurate and up-to-date information on their lobbying activities. [2] The register is currently under review by a group of MEPs and Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič; it will make recommendations in November under the leadership of the Parliament's Vice-President for Transparency issues Rainer Wieland MEP. [3]

Nina Katzemich representing ALTER-EU steering committee member LobbyControl says: “Practically every week we can see the impacts of corporate lobbying on public-interest decision-making at the EU level, whether it is on tobacco regulation, data privacy or vehicle emissions. We also know that 80 per cent of citizens across Europe are in favour of a mandatory EU lobby register. [4] Rainer Wieland MEP and Commissioner Šefčovič have a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on lobbying by overhauling the register. We hope they will listen to the views of citizens signing this e-petition and take up the challenge.”

Pam Bartlett Quintanilla, representing ALTER-EU steering committee member Access Info Europe, remarked: “It is clear that the current EU lobby register is not working. Civil society has a right to know who is trying to gain influence on EU politics, with what budget, on which issues and on whose behalf. This situation will only come about through the transition to a register with which all lobbyists working in Brussels have to comply.”

Campaigners want the register's review group to commit to making the lobby register mandatory, whilst implementing additional measures to deliver transparency in the interim period before a new register is up and running. [5] Campaigners are also calling for the register to adopt a clear and enforceable ethics code for lobbyists to abide by.

In May 2011, MEPs voted to support the transition to a mandatory lobby register although, more than two years on, no progress has been made towards this goal. [6]

The petition is available in English, German, French and Spanish.


Olivier Hoedeman, Corporate Europe Observatory, email:, tel: +32 (0)2 893 0930, mobile: +32 (0)474 486545

Nina Katzemich, LobbyControl, email:, tel: +49 221 1696507, mobile: +49 179 5093022

Pam Bartlett Quintanilla, Access Info Europe, email:, tel: +34 91 365 6558, mobile: +34 699354215

Notes for editors:

[1] ALTER-EU is a coalition of about 200 civil society groups, trade unions, academics and public affairs firms concerned with the increasing influence exerted by corporate lobbyists on the political agenda in Europe.

[2] ALTER-EU has compiled significant evidence of the flaws in the current EU Transparency Register. Its most recent report “Rescue the register” can be read here:

[3] More information about the high level group reviewing the register can be found here: It is expected to conclude its work in November and to make recommendations for the Parliament and Commission to consider.

[4] EU Citizens Opinion Poll conducted by TNS Opinion in six EU Member States. The results can be found here:

[5] Such interim measures would help to make the current register de facto mandatory and could include a commitment that Commissioners and Commission staff would not meet with, or attend events organised by, unregistered lobbyists.