Europe urgently needs lobbying reform says TI report
A new report on 19 European countries and 3 EU institutions shows undue influence on politics across the region and in Brussels.
Transparency International (TI), the anti-corruption group, found that of 19 European countries assessed, only seven have some form of dedicated lobbying law or regulation, allowing for nearly unfettered influence of business interests on the daily lives of Europeans.
The 19 countries together score just 31% (out of 100%) when measured against international lobbying standards and best practice in the report “Lobbying in Europe: Hidden Influence, Privileged Access”.
“In the past five years, Europe’s leaders have made difficult economic decisions that have had big consequences for citizens. Those citizens need to know that decision-makers were acting in the public interest, not the interest of a few select players,” said Elena Panfilova, Vice-Chair of Transparency International.
Slovenia comes out at the top with a score of 55%, owing to the dedicated lobbying regulation in place, which nevertheless suffers from gaps and loopholes. Cyprus and Hungary rank at the bottom with 14%, performing poorly in almost every area assessed, especially when it comes to access to information.
Eurozone crisis countries Italy, Portugal and Spain are among the five worst-performing countries, where lobbying practices and close relations between the public and financial sectors are deemed risky. The report shows that post-crisis financial sector reform efforts at the national and EU levels have been thwarted and watered down, in large part due to intense lobbying by the financial sector in Europe.
You can access the report and online infographics here.
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