As Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) prepare to quiz the president-elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday 15 July, the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU)  is calling upon them to ensure that improvements in the areas of ethics, conflicts of interest and lobby transparency are placed high on the agenda of the new Commission.
During the recent EU elections, 177 now-elected MEPs signed ALTER-EU's Politics for People pledge in which they committed to “stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business” upon entering office. 
Erik Wesselius of Corporate Europe Observatory and a member of the ALTER-EU steering committee says: “People across Europe are increasingly concerned about how decisions affecting their daily lives are made by a European Commission that is too close to big business and corporate lobbyists. At tomorrow's hearing, MEPs can prove their commitment to stand-up for citizens and democracy by asking Mr Juncker probing questions about ethics and transparency and by seeking a real commitment from him to rein in excessive corporate lobbying influence.”
The parliamentary hearing of the president-elect presents an opportunity to secure firm commitments from the president of the Commission. Just before the European elections, ALTER-EU published an assessment of the Barroso II Commission's commitment to transparency and ethics issues entitled “Talking the talk, but not walking the walk”.  It concluded that the 2009-14 Commission lacked the political will to significantly improve the lobbying transparency and ethics policy and practice during its time in office.
ALTER-EU has been encouraged by recent statements by president-elect Juncker to the Green/ EFA political group regarding a mandatory lobby register and legislative footprint and believes that the new Commission must embrace an ambitious and pro-active approach, needed to increase public trust. 
Max Bank of LobbyControl, who is also a member of ALTER-EU's steering committee, continued: “ALTER-EU priority areas for Commission action include: blocking the revolving door for commissioners and Commission staff; taking action to clean up expert groups; and making a genuine commitment to ensuring the work of the Commission, including its contacts with lobby groups, are made fully transparent. We hope that MEPs will take action to firmly place these issues on the agenda of the president-elect of the Commission in order that improvements are made in practice during the next term”.
A full explanation of ALTER-EU's policy priorities is available on our website. 
Erik Wesselius, Corporate Europe Observatory, email: email@example.com tel: +32 (0)2 893 0930 or mobile +32 476-901587 (when in Belgium)
Max Bank, LobbyControl, email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +49 221 1696507 or +49 163 4568741
Notes for editors
 ALTER-EU is a coalition of about 200 civil society groups and trade unions campaigning against the increasing influence exerted by corporate lobbyists on the political agenda in Europe.
 More information about ALTER-EU's Politics for People campaign can be found here: http://www.alter-eu.org/politics-for-people-2014-eu-election-campaign
 “Talking the talk, but not walking the walk” can be found at: http://www.alter-eu.org/documents/2014/04
 See Green /EFA hearing with Jean-Claude Juncker on 09/07/2014: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/other-events/video?event=20140709-0900-SPECIAL
 A full explanation of ALTER-EU's policy priorities is available here: http://www.alter-eu.org/about/demands