More lobbying regulations for more transparency?

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

Christophe Leclercq, founder of, writes in the article from Politik and Kommunikation about measures taken against the behaviour of pressure groups.

The EU has learned from the Santer case in 1999. EU institutions, representatives of pressure groups and the European media have set up initiatives aimed at increasing transparency in Brussels. These focus especially on the independence of EU politicians and officials as well as the work of pressure groups.

In 2000, the Commission presented a white paper with a view to increasing the transparency of its working methods. They also committed themselves to a Codex on good administration: the EP is also committed to a code of conduct.

This ‘Kallas-like’ approach is tantamount to a confession by the Commission that, with regard to the regulation of pressure groups, much remains to be done. The independence of EU institutions, officials and decision makers must be strengthened. Furthermore, pressure groups should be obliged to reveal whose interests they represent and the sources of their finance. This call for more transparency should apply not only to business lobby groups but to a wider circle of players.

Brussels PA groups monitor this process very attentively, while other pressure groups are not amused at this transparency initiative.

To read the full version of the article (in German) click here.

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