Molly Scott Cato issues New Year challenge for MEPs to be open and transparent about contacts with lobbyists

Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has launched a New Year challenge to her fellow South West MEPs, calling on them to be open and transparent about their lobbying contacts. Dr Scott Cato is one of 50 Green MEPs who is using a new open-source tool, which takes information from MEPs’ calendars, and publishes the information on their websites the day after the lobby meeting takes place. The information allows all citizens to see who Green MEPs are meeting, when they are meeting them, and what is talked about. Molly Scott Cato is challenging MEPs from other Parties to be equally transparent on their meetings with lobbyists. She said:

“My primary responsibility is to represent my constituents in the South West and their needs for a safer, healthier and more prosperous society. I hope that my contacts with various stakeholders reflects this. But the important point is, anyone can now find out who I have met with and why and make their own judgement. I challenge my fellow MEPs to be as open and transparent about who they meet with and the purpose of their meetings.

The Greens are the first group in the European Parliament to automatically publish information about meetings held with lobbyists and other stakeholders such as civil society organisations. Molly Scott Cato went on to say:

“At present lobbyists are all considered equivalent, so that somebody from the financial services sector is treated the same way as a representative from a membership organisation focused on improving the environment. I have chosen to meet mainly with groups dedicated to improving their communities rather than those lobbying on behalf of corporations who are working to inflate their profits. I am sure the public would like to see which lobbyists other MEPs meet as well.”