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Time to root out shocking influence of corporations on EU decision making - Carthy

13 May, 2016


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said it’s time to “root out” what he termed the “shocking” influence of corporate lobbyists on political decision making at EU level.

The European Commision is currently engaged in consultation on whether an EU Transparency Register should be mandatory. Currently the Register is entirely voluntary, meaning that many corporations do not disclose the amount of money spent, people employed or meetings held with EU officials and politicians.

Matt Carthy said: “The level of corporate lobbying at a political level in the EU is shocking and raises serious questions about who is really making the laws that affect so many citizens across the European Union. “Is it the Commission, the MEPs or the Council? 

"Or is it one or more of the thousands of multinational corporations, umbrella lobby organisations or so-called ‘EU public affairs consultancies’ or ‘think-tanks’ - all of which are heavily dependent on corporate funding? 

"I think it’s time that people in Ireland and elsewhere knew the answer to that question. 

“There are 30,000 lobbyists working in the vicinity of the EU institutions. That amounts to around 40 lobbyists for every MEP. 

"Seventy-per-cent of these lobbyists are seeking to influence corporate interests with millions, and sometimes billions of euro at their disposal. 

“So, is it any wonder that the vast majority of legislation pumped out from the Commission favours interests of big business as opposed to the needs of citizens? 

“Last week’s leaking of TTIP negotiating documents highlighted the privileged access of corporate interests in the EU decision-making process. 

“The Transparency Register must be made mandatory and must cover the EU Commission. 

 "However, much more needs to be done to root out the culture of corporate dominance which currently pervades the EU institutions.”ENDS

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