MEPs vote for new rules on lobbying in major victory for transparency, but right wing groups keen to ‘preserve a culture of secrecy’

In a victory for openness and transparency, the European parliament today backed binding rules around MEPs meetings with lobbyists. A majority of MEPs backed a report calling for stricter rules around disclosing details of meetings with lobbyists on a Transparency Register. Ironically, the conservative groups insisted that the vote on whether to have lobby transparency was actually conducted by secret ballot.

Molly welcomed the vote, but was scathing of right-wing groups that failed to support the measures. She said:

“The need for more transparency is clear. Time and again we see how corporate interests’ water down crucial EU legislation on issues such as climate change, tax and labour rights. I am delighted that MEPs have voted to build a more transparent parliament and EU decision making process.

“However, today’s vote also revealed that those on the right are keen to preserve a culture of secrecy. Perhaps they are worried that their constituents will discover they are working in the interests of lobbyists from large multinationals rather that in their best interests or for the common good. 

“It is ironic that those very same right-wing forces are the ones that attack the EU for lack of transparency. The Brexit chaos has revealed that the UK simply doesn’t have a properly functioning democracy and while we are stuck with an archaic voting system and outdated parliamentary structures and procedures, the EU is surging ahead working to build transparency, accountability and democracy into its processes.”