Azara Blog: European Commission introduces voluntary register of lobbyists

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Date published: 2008/06/30

The BBC says:

The European Commission has defended its new voluntary register of lobbyists amid criticism from groups who say it is not transparent enough.

A day after its launch, the register had 42 lobbyists listed.
An estimated 15,000 lobbyists seek to influence EU legislation. Critics want more regulation of their activities.
The European Parliament has called for a mandatory register of lobbyists covering not only the parliament itself, but also the Commission and the Council of Ministers, which together approve legislation.

The three legislative branches are setting up a joint working group to establish a common register, which the parliament hopes will be in place by the next European elections, in a year's time.

A register is a good idea. Eurocrats and politicians spend most of their time being pestered (and so influenced) by zillions of lobbyists, both for corporations and for NGOs, and citizens have the right to know who is pestering whom. On the other hand, the US has a mandatory register but that has not stopped the American political system from being incredibly corrupt.

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