Lobbying in Europe: a comparative research

"Lobbying in Europe: Hidden Influence, Privileged Access" is the first European comparative research on the phenomenon of lobbying transparency: presented last April, the analysis shows the urgent need for Europe to reform the entire system

When a task as important as the lobbying is carried out without transparency, corruption can only grow. That’s the reason why Europe urgently need a reform of the system. According to the first European report on the theme, Lobbying in Europe: Hidden Influence, Privileged Access – realized  by Transparency International – only 7 of the 19 European countries analyzed have a regulation on lobbying.

In particular, as shown in the report, Slovenia ranks first in Europe due to its regulatory system, with a score of 55 out of 100. Cyprus and Hungary are positioned rather near the bottom with 14 points out of 100 and low performance for all indicators, especially for access to information. Italy, along with two other countries symbol of the Eurozone crisis, Portugal and Spain, is among the five countries with the worst scores and where the practices of lobbying and the relationships between the public and financial sectors are particularly at risk.

Numerous scandals in Europe evidence as no clear rules and effective decision-making together with the lack of transparency in lobbying create fertile ground for small circles of power able to unduly rely their own particular interests. As a result, the lobbying system needs a general and structural reform that European institutions can achieve only adopting a broad and comprehensive regulatory system of lobbying, introducing mandatory registers of lobbyists, ensuring the transparency of the legislative process and avoiding conflicts of interests. Moreover, all those who influence public policy should publish voluntarily information on their lobbying activities, their expenses and their contributions and political connections.



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