66% of Brussels based Lobbyists and Law Firms refuse to say if they are lobbying on TTIP – Carthy
Commenting on a report by Corporate Europe Observatory, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has stated that the lack of transparency surrounding lobbyists based in Brussels must be addressed.
“The lack of transparency surrounding the lobbying activity of corporate lobby groups based in Brussels is truly alarming.
“Private interest groups overwhelmingly dominated the European Commission’s TTIP consultations with 9 out of 10 lobby contacts during the preparatory phase of the negotiations with companies and corporate lobby groups.
“The fact that 66% of lobbyists and law firms contacted by Corporate Europe Observatory refused to say whether they were lobbying on TTIP and 88% refused to say who they were lobbying on behalf of demonstrates the high level of secrecy involved in these negotiations.
“It also demonstrates that there is a huge level of influence being exerted behind the scenes by powerful, well placed, professional lobby groups on behalf of corporations or other individuals whose identity remains secret.
“It is clear that there is much more to be done to ensure transparency in relation to the activities of lobbyists.
“The fact that the lobby register is voluntary and the European Commission has failed to publish the list of meetings held with organisations and lobbyists on TTIP, despite a clear recommendation from the European Ombudsman, speaks volumes despite the silence of lobby groups.
“The public deserve transparency in relation to possible influence that is exerted over those who are supposed to act in our best interests.
"It is clear that the current system does not provide this and immediate action must be taken to ensure that full transparency is provided to the public in relation to lobbying activities if the European Institutions are to secure the trust of the people they represent."