Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The EU in German blogs (4): Lobby register celebrates 1st birthday

LobbyControl "celebrates" the first birthday of the Commission's lobby register (own translation):
"The lobby register of the European Commission celebrates its first birthday today. The Commission used this occasion to draw some first conclusions - a complete analysis is due to follow in July. Yesterday, the responsible director Jens Nymand Christensen declared the voluntary approach a success because the number of registrations was steadily increasing. Thus, there would be no need for an obligatory register.

This assessment can not be held up at a closer look as our study that we publish together with Alter-EU and some newer figures prove:

There are 1,604 lobby groups registered by now. Only 625 of those actually have an office in Brussels. Many of the associations registered are totally irrelevant for the lobby register because they are not based in Brussels and dispose only of minimal lobby budgets. If we use the estimations of the European Parliament that 2,600 lobby groups have their seat and an office in Brussels, only 24% have registered themselves until today. [...]

Speaking about of the register under these conditions is not a sign of an objective perspective. The register is and remains the unloved child of the Brussels lobby scene. Law firms and think tanks refuse completely to accept it. They have boycotted the lobby register from the very beginning. [...]

Looks like the register has still a long way to go...