The Strategist

EU is criticized for excessive lobbying

05/01/2019 - 02:43

LobbyControl organization has issued a report on lobbying in the European Union. The paper’s main conclusion is that large concerns still have too much power in Brussels.

In recent years, the European Union has taken certain steps towards reducing influence of lobbyists on political decisions, but this is not enough. This is the conclusion made by the public organization LobbyControl and presented on Monday, April 29, in its report on lobbying in the EU.

“Sometimes (concerns) can intercept both laws and political processes,” said Imke Dierßen, managing organization’s political wing of the organization. Lobbyism is carried out mainly through the EU Council. The report calls it an "opaque" body, where national governments are trying to act in the interests of their local industry. For instance, Germany tried to slow down introduction of tests for exhaust gases in the interests of the automotive industry.

The EU has 25,000 lobbyists with a budget of 1.5 billion euros, the report says. In 2008, the Transparency Register database was created in the EU, in which "influence groups" - that is, lobbyists - should be registered and provide information about their financial and other interests. Such an open public directory was a response to criticism of the EU in non-transparency when making important decisions.