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European Union bid for greater lobby transparency 'dead', European Parliament says

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European Union bid for greater lobby transparency 'dead', European Parliament says
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REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
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European Parliament negotiators have declared a bid to improve transparency over lobbyists influencing MEPs as "dead".

In an email sent to the presidents of all European Parliament political parties, negotiators Danuta Hübner and Sylvie Guillaume said they reached an “insurmountable” impasse and blamed First Vice-President Timmermans for the failure of improving the EU lobby transparency register.

Sven Giegold, an MEP and a key advocate for reforms in EU transparency, said centre-left political groups and the centre-right European People’s Party Group “lacked ambition” in proposing greater reforms on listings organisations and individuals influencing politicians.

“The one clear breakthrough on the Parliament’s side was the newly adopted rule - proposed by the Greens/EFA Group - that obliges Members of the European Parliament that are drafting reports or chairing committees to publish a list of lobbyists they meet with,” said Giegold.

“But this rule now needs to be properly implemented, and any attempts to water down its implementation will need to be monitored and countered.”

While the EU’s transparency register shows what interests are pursued by whom, the example of Finland’s MEP’s publishing their meetings with lobbyists has been held as a standard with which the bloc should aim for.

Almost 100 MEPs have called for greater lobbying transparency in Brussels.

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