New lobbying transparency rules must be expanded to all Commission officials- Lynn Boylan MEP
Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has questioned the EU Commission on the implementation of the new transparency rules for the lobbying industry.
This comes as reports show that the vast majority of meetings held by the EU’s top two energy and climate officials have been with the fossil fuel sector.
Ms Bolan said:
“This information is accessible thanks to the new lobbying transparency legislation introduced late year when the Commission announced that Commissioners, their cabinets and Director Generals would have to begin publically declaring any meetings they have with stakeholders.
“The legislation highlights how many corporate groups and vested interests in energy have access to top officials compared to those working in the NGO sector, attempting to combat climate change.
Ms Boylan continued:
“While the new regulations are an important first step in tackling the opaqueness of lobbying within the EU institutions, they only cover a relatively small number of Commission officials.”
“It should also be noted that Emily O'Reilly, the European Ombudsman, has opened an investigation into the transparency of the informal negotiations that take place aimed at reaching early agreements between the European Parliament (EP), the Council and the Commission.
“I have submitted a question to the Commission asking it to address a number of key concerns I have about the scope and the implementation of the new legislation.
“Given that the Commission units and the heads of units have an instrumental role in shaping policy and decisions, shouldn’t the new transparency rules be expanded to all Commission officials?
“If this will not be the case then I would like the Commission to explain why not?
“I would also like the Commission to explain how it is monitoring and ensuring that that the new transparency rules are being adhered to?”