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European Parliament moves forward on transparency of decision-making and impact of lobbyists


After much insistence and plenty of reminders from Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the Parliament, the European Parliament has finally put into place an official mechanism that allows Members of the European Parliament to publish a list of the interest groups or lobby organisations that they met with in the context of a particular report or piece of legislation. This list, or “legislative footprint”, is essential for citizens to know exactly how the decision-making process is influenced by different interest groups. Since Members are elected to represent citizens, we need transparency over who they meet in order to ensure that a balanced range of interests is being represented throughout the political process. This, after all, is the definition of democracy. This “legislative footprint” has long been a demand of the Greens/EFA group and of transparency NGOs, and Members have been free to publish these lists on their own initiative up until now, but there was no official structure for doing so. With this structure in place, Parliament reports can officially include a list of stakeholders as an annex, so the record will be kept forever. The Greens/EFA group encourages all other political groups to make use of this new structure. Indeed, they could go beyond this basic level of transparency by publishing all their meetings with stakeholders, regardless of whether they are linked to a particular report or piece of legislation. We do this with an open source software called LobbyCal. To see our MEPs’ meetings, visit their web pages, or simply click here for a full list: https://lobbycal.greens-efa-service.eu/#/meeting


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