While president elect Barack Obama comes down hard on lobbyists in the US, voicing plans to ‘curb’ their role, in Brussels we put our trust in a lobbyist voluntary register. It is widely criticised as it asks for little more than the name of the organisation and the total lobbying revenue. ‘Sometimes people create a group with a different name – a public interest group or NGO – and hide behind it,’ explains Christine Pohl, Friends of the Earth Europe transparency campaigner.
This is one reason why along with the Corporate Europe Observatory, Spinwatch and LobbyControl, her organisation is jointly organising the fourth Worst EU Lobbying Awards in Brussels on 9 December, to ‘name and shame’ lobbyists who use underhand practices to influence EU officials. ‘We hope to bring media attention to misbehaving lobbyists and scandals. Some of the worst cases could have been prevented with a good register.’
Vote in the Worst EU Lobbying Awards!
The candidates are: the agrofuels lobby, Gplus and Aspect Consulting PR agencies, European Agence