EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

The European Federation of Nurses (EFN) supports the European Public Health Alliance’s (EPHA) position on the registration of NGOs in the register. If you look at the register now, it is very clear that there is no financial transparency.

EFN is registered under Belgium law and all its financial details are published and transparent. Perhaps the national finance ministers needs to tackle this issue!

EPHA has been calling for transparency of EU lobbying since 2005 and monitored the work of the European Commission as it was preparing its lobby register in 2007-8. It repeatedly alerted the Commission that its draft proposal fell short of its own objectives and transparency standards.

EPHA believes the Commission’s voluntary register for ‘interest representatives’ does not meet basic benchmarks for lobbying transparency.

Among the most serious flaws are:

  • Its voluntary nature, which gives it no effective sanctions to ensure completeness and accuracy of the information that the register contains;
  • the absence of names of individual lobbyists;
  • inconsistent and insufficient requirements on financial disclosure.

EPHA has been working with the Civil Society Contact Group (CSCG) and ALTER-EU to define joint action. So far, we are calling on all our members concerned by the register, that is “All entities engaged in activities carried out with the objective of influencing the policy formulation and decision-making processes of the European institutions”, NOT to register yet, but to wait until the following guidelines are approved during our next meeting with the CSCG.

Only then will we recommend that all organisations engaged in lobbying the EU institutions should register and provide additional information regarding:

  • Criticism of the register;
  • financial information;
  • names of the people lobbying on behalf of your organisation;
  • specific lobbying issues.

Paul de Raeve

General Secretary

European Federation of Nurses Associations

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