Lobbying in the European Parliament: And to whom else are you working on? (”Der Spiegel”, Germany)

Original publication: Lobbyismus im EU-Parlament: Und für wen arbeiten Sie so?

The investigation showed that some European parliamentarians - contrary to the code of conduct of Deputies - have contributed to the laws in favor of the company in exchange for financial incentives from their side. Two names, two examples.

Erupted scandal undermined confidence in the European Parliament. A number of MEPs acknowledged in March 2011 that in the big fees they contributed to the adoption of the law on banking regulation in the financial industry for favorable treatment. What did they do wrong? Estimated lobbyists appeared to British newspaper reporters Sunday Times, which published the results of successful attempts of bribery.

Shortly thereafter came into force provisions at least complicate such transactions - money in exchange for influence. For lobbyists - Transparency Register for deputies - the code of conduct. But will they work - is an open question.

For several years, non-governmental organization Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl monitor lobbying activities at EU level and constantly find something. Selected last year MEPs are the first who received a mandate with the new code of conduct. However, apparently little changed. “We are dissatisfied with the insufficient application of the Code,” - says Nina Kattsemih (Nina Katzemich), a German expert from the organization LobbyControl.

Episode Birgit Collin-Langen

Birgit Collin Langen (Birgit Collin-Langen) for 16 years was the head of the city of Bingen am Rhein before in 2012 went to Brussels as a deputy of the CDU. She retained a place on the advisory board of the energy group RWE - enterprises with second highest carbon dioxide emissions in Europe. The European Parliament Collin-Langen is a member of the Committee on Environment (ENVI), in which, among other things, decisions on climate.

When the committee in January 2015 published a report on the establishment of market stabilization reserve to trade certificates for carbon dioxide emissions, Collin-Langen made several requests for changes - for example, with respect to receive free (at least partially) the rights to pollute. This position is absolutely consistent with the line of the concern RWE. MP denies the charges, without seeing in this a conflict of interest. Moreover, in its view, the company RWE by this advisory work will take more account of the interests of local authorities and the public interest.

According to the deputy, he participated in the activities of the group brings her less than 6,000 euros a year. In contrast to the MP Guy Verhofstadt (Guy Verhofstadt).

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19 June 2015

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