Plus de 50 ONGs demandent la transparence à la présidence allemande de l’UE

mardi 23 juin 2020


Plus de 50 ONGs, dont Sciences Citoyennes, ont signé cet appel demandant à la présidence allemande, démarrant le 1er juillet 2020, de prioriser l’intérêt général dans les prises de décisions au niveau européen, des réformes législatives sur la transparence des lobbys au sein du Conseil, une transparence complète des lobbys allemands et de nouveaux droits pour les citoyens de s’exprimer sur les décisions des gouvernements concernant les affaires européennes. La déclaration se trouve ici, et résulte de la publication du nouveau rapport de Corporate Europe Observatory et LobbyControl – Tainted love: corporate lobbying and the upcoming German EU Presidency (retrouvez la synthèse du rapport, et le rapport complet). 

We, civil society organisations from Germany and across Europe, demand a German EU Council Presidency that sets new standards in transparency and accountability, and which tackles the challenges ahead in the public interest.

The EU Presidency must prioritise three urgent challenges: handling the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, tackling inequality, and fighting the climate crisis. These need to be addressed together on a strong foundation of democracy, anti-racism, human rights, social rights, and international solidarity. Instead of bailing out climate polluters and tax-dodgers, and giving in to ‘coronawash’ lobbying for weaker regulations, we need a new vision based on progressive alternatives that will roll back inequality. The German Presidency must use this moment to forgo corporate interests and to instead make serving the public interest the clear priority.

Many voices – European civil society, Members of Parliaments of EU member states, and the European Ombudsman – have criticised the serious lack of transparency of decision-making and lobbying in the Council. The public is excluded from knowing how files progress in the Council, the positions of their governments, and which quid pro quo deals have been made. This is replicated at the national level, where there is rarely openness about how a government decides its position on an EU file. While corporate lobbyists with large resources and well-connected networks manage to have their voices heard in this process, civil society is much less visible. This results in a serious democratic deficit.

These issues need tackling urgently. We demand the following:

1. Ensure the EU Presidency is not used to champion big business over the public interest. The German Government must put an end to privileged access for corporate interests and business-only policy consultations, for its EU Presidency and beyond.

2. As President, Germany must champion much needed legislative and lobby transparency reforms within the Council so that citizens can follow the progress of files and the position of their member state.

3. Germany must also lead by example. It should provide full lobby transparency of meetings held with lobbyists by the Government, a legislative footprint, and a world class lobby register. It should also reject all corporate sponsorship of its Presidency.

4. Citizens should have new rights to both find out about, and have a say on, their government’s decision-making on EU matters. Citizens must no longer be excluded from this process.