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Corporate lobbyists still pulling EU strings- Lynn Boylan MEP

27 January, 2015 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has stated that the new “reformed” lobby transparency register is another opportunity missed by the Juncker led commission to institute a culture of transparency into the insidious nature of corporate lobbying in Europe.

Speaking today from Brussels Ms Boylan said:

“The European Parliament has since 2008 endeavoured to introduce a mandatory register that all organisations and individuals engaged in lobbying activities will have to sign.

This latest incarnation of a transparency register is still voluntary in nature, is not binding on lobbyists and offers lobbyists incentives to register instead of handing out sanctions for registering with misleading data.

Corporate interests will still able to operate in the shadows and gain access to decision makers thanks to the Commission’s failure to introduce safeguards to ensure that lobbyists are open and honest about all their lobbying activities.

For example according to research by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation, consultancy firm BearingPoint has stated that it is not a lobbying firm and that it doesn’t employ lobbyists, yet its lobby turnover is €552,795,000.

All EU citizens have a right to know who is influencing our decision makers at the highest levels. A mandatory register, a two year cooling off period on post term employmentfor former MEPs and Commissioners and enforceable sanctions would all help maximise transparency.”

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