Lobby meetings with EU policy-makers dominated by corporate interests

New analysis published today by Transparency International reveals that the overwhelming majority of lobby meetings held by European Commissioners and their closest advisors are with representatives of corporate interests. This is just one of the findings from a new lobby monitoring tool launched today at www.integritywatch.eu.

75 % of meetings are with corporate lobbyists info graphic

Analysis of the 4,318 lobby meetings declared by the top tier of European Commission officials between December 2014 and June 2015 shows that more than 75% were with corporate lobbyists. This compares to 18% with NGOs, 4% with think tanks and 2% with local authorities. Google, General Electric and Airbus are some of the most active lobbyists at this level, with 25 to 29 meetings each. Google and General Electric are also some of the biggest spenders in Brussels, each declaring EU lobby budgets of around €3.5 million per year.

Of the 7,908 organisations who have voluntarily registered in the EU Transparency Register – the register of EU lobbyists – 4,879 seek to influence political decisions of the European Union on behalf of corporate interests. Exxon Mobil, Shell and Microsoft (all €4.5-5m) are the top three companies in terms of lobby budgets according to their declarations made to the EU Transparency Register.

Top 5 companies with biggest EU lobbying budget

“The evidence of the last six months suggests there is a strong link between the amount of money you spend and the number of meetings you get”, says Daniel Freund from Transparency International EU. “Those organisations with the biggest lobby budgets get a lot of access, particularly on the financial, digital and energy portfolios.”

  • Read the full press release here
  • Download the findings here


Top 5 organisations with the most lobby meetings

European Commission portfolios with most lobby contacts

Most common subjects discussed by the European Commission in lobby meetings

European Commission transparency measures are the tip of the ice berg

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