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Huge growth in lobbying activity subverting democracy in the EU - Anderson

1 September, 2016 - by Martina Anderson MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has expressed alarm at the shocking rise in lobbying activity in the institutions of the European Union.

Speaking in the wake of a report by LobbyFacts.eu, MEP Anderson said;

“Huge multinational corporations have increased their lobbying expenditure by over 40% between 2012 and 2016. This year alone over €106,000,000 will be spent by companies trying to swing votes in their favour.”

“This massive and alarming growth will undermine and subvert democracy in the European institutions, as those who can pay more get what they want.”

A member of the European Parliament’s committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Martina Anderson continued;

“I have seen first-hand the negative influence of unscrupulous lobbyists in the European Parliament. When I began work on the Tobacco Products Directive, a directive aimed at reducing the influence of big tobacco and preventing young people from taking up smoking, I was inundated with communication from the tobacco lobby. It’s unsurprising, therefore, to see tobacco giant, British American Tobacco, spending almost €2,000,000 this year on lobbying alone.”

“Other companies spending millions on a European charm offensive include those with dubious track records in Ireland, namely Google and Shell. Between them they will spend almost €10,000,000 on lobbying this year alone.”

“Those in public office should be bound to act only in the interests of those who elected them. MEPs, like all elected representatives, should hold themselves to the highest of standards and not be influenced by those who lobby most ferociously. Lobbyists should be heavily regulated and all meetings with officials should be fully transparent and subject to democratic oversight.”

“Sinn Féin will continue to push for reform on this subject and, as always, will stand up for the people of Ireland, not lobbyists or corporations with deep pockets.”

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