On 25 August 2015, Democracy International handed over to Sven Giegold, Member of the European Parliament, people’s suggestions for how to end intransparent and unfair lobbying in the EU. 1695 Europeans had expressed their priorities in an online questionnaire that Democracy International had coordinated under the slogan “One against 30,000 lobbyists”.
According to the polling, respondents gave highest priority to ruling out the so-called “Trialogue” talks by which 90 per cent of all EU decisions are made in an informal fast-track-mode behind closed door. The demand that membership of expert groups and advisory groups of the Commission must have full transparency to prevent privileged access followed this proposal. Thirdly, corrupt organisations and companies should be excluded from EU tendering procedures.
Interview with Sven Giegold
Receiving the results by Democracy International, Sven Giegold, who has committed his political work to fighting unfair and undemocratic influence of banks and corporations, announced "I will read all suggestions carefully and integrate the most pertinent suggestions in my draft report. I am delighted about the great interest by citizens in the matter and the work of Democracy International". You can watch the full interview with Sven Giegold below.
Towards a new EU Transparency Law
Every day 30,000 lobbyists try to influence 750 parliamentarians, 28 commissioners and their staff in Brussels. Corporations are spending billions on their public relations and lobby activities to manipulate EU laws and policies. The public corruption report of 2014 finds that the European Union loses about 120 billion Euros per year due to corruption.
To tackle these issues EU Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker had promised to draft new EU legislation to effectively control lobbying once being in power.
In this context, the European Parliament is currently preparing draft legislation (or “report”) to be proposed to the European Commission and the EU Council. Sven Giegold was appointed “rapporteur”, which means he is in charge of coordinating all opinions and positions by the political groups in the European Parliament. With the aim of drafting the report in an open and inclusive way, Giegold collaborated with Democracy International to learn about European citizens’ ideas and concerns.