The EU must engage in real lobbying reform to safeguard against corruption.

  1. First, EU institutions should establish a common, independent ethics authority, endowed with sufficient resources, investigation and sanction capacities.
  2. Second, the rules in force on transparency, conflicts of interest and revolving doors in the European institutions (in particular the codes of conduct of the institutions) must be strengthened by imposing reporting obligations for all members of the Parliament. While the Parliament’s ruling Bureau has long opposed such an obligation in the name of the freedom of their electoral mandate, MEPs must now accept to report all their meetings as an opportunity to demonstrate their actual freedom from special interests.
  3. Third, lobbying from third countries — be it by embassies or third parties — must also be published in the EU Transparency Register. Right now, governments are exempted from the EU’s already meager transparency rules. Likewise, meetings with representatives of third countries should be disclosed by all EU institutions, including by individual MEPs.
  4. Fourth, the EU Transparency Register must become mandatory through the adoption of a legislative act — as opposed to a mere inter-institutional agreement — and be strengthened by additional resources. Ultimately, a clear commitment is needed from all institutions to only accept meetings with registered lobbyists and to publish all lobby meetings on a central website that is linked to the common EU transparency register.

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