First victory on corporate lobbying
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has chalked up her first success as MEP in making EU policy-making more open and transparent.
Speaking from Brussels Ms Anderson said:
"For too long corporate interests have dominated EU policy-making. The European Commission has long sought so-called 'independent advice' through the creation of 'expert groups', which are dominated by corporate lobbyists.
"Today the European Parliament and the European Commission reached a deal which will see Commission Vice-president Maroš Šefčovič work with MEPs on establishing new guidelines for the approximately 900 expert groups advising the European Commission.
"The new guidelines will deal with the over-representation of larger corporations and the marginalisation of citizens and civil society groups. Information about expert groups will be made publicly available, including information about membership and minutes of the meetings. And experts with a vested interest in the field concerned can no longer be called ‘independent’; they can continue to serve only as an expert serving on behalf of the party whose interests they serve.
"This is just one aspect of the corruption of policy-making which is all too common in the EU. This is a positive step, but more action is needed. I will continue working with MEPs from across the political spectrum to ensure that that the EU serves the interests of the people rather than major corporations and their hired hands."