The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), a coalition of over 200 civil society groups concerned about the effects of corporate lobbying on the EU (including the Open Knowledge Foundation), have recently launched a petition to fix the EU’s official register of lobbyists.
The current register is voluntary, incomplete and unreliable – giving only a small glimpse of the picture about the activities of big lobbyists in Brussels. ALTER-EU produced a detailed report earlier this year looking at some of the things that are wrong with the current register, and how to fix them.
This is an excellent opportunity for the EU to demonstrate their commitment to the principle that official information can be used to strengthen the democracy and public accountability of European institutions (which I wrote about on the EU digital agenda blog a couple of weeks ago).
If you want to see the EU increasing lobbying transparency and fixing the register, we strongly encourage you to sign and share the petition!
If you’re interested in pushing for greater lobbying transparency in your country, you can also join our recently launched global working group on lobbying transparency, that we’re co-hosting with the Sunlight Foundation.
Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.