Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Lobbying the EU

Lobbying, governing, and legislating are not done just in nation states. But issues surrounding lobbying the EU are not unlike the issues that rise in nation states.

BTW, did you know that the European Ombudsman is part of the EU regime?

EU Commission must be open about tobacco lobby - ombudsman
The European Commission is not transparent enough about its meetings with tobacco industry lobbyists, the European Ombudsman says.

Emily O'Reilly
Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly said the Commission's approach to publicising such meetings was "inadequate, unreliable and unsatisfactory".

She handles complaints from European citizens against EU institutions and can seek redress, bypassing the courts…

The Commission drafts EU laws [which then must be passed the European Parliament] and enforces compliance with the EU treaties…

The ombudsman's conclusion on Monday related to a 2014 complaint brought by Corporate Europe Observatory, which said senior European Commission officials had had at least 14 undisclosed meetings with tobacco lobbyists.

It called on the Commission to comply with UN World Health Organization safeguards against undue influence from such lobbyists.

Ms O'Reilly agreed that the Commission was not fully adhering to those safeguards. She asked the Commission to explain by the end of this year how it would implement her recommendations…

She called on the Commission to proactively release documents - and not wait until MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] asked it to do so.

The Commission has a voluntary register of lobbyists, but Ms O'Reilly said the Commission should introduce a mandatory register as planned.

The anti-corruption organisation Transparency International welcomed her statement, but said the EU should go further and "extend these disclosures to the European Parliament and EU Council [the forum where EU ministers meet]".

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