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Lobbying: WWF and Transparency demand more transparency from policymakers

2019-10-01T13:58:02.762Z

Two NGOs launched a campaign on Monday asking policymakers to be more transparent about their relations with lobbies. They ask them to make public their appointments ...



The campaign has barely begun as the target of 5,000 signatures has already been reached. This has been raised to 15,000. In 24 hours, the online petition launched by WWF and Transparency International France, Monday, September 30, has gathered nearly 8,000 signatures. The two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) ask politicians to make public their meetings with lobbyists, on the one hand, and to "significantly" increase the level of information that the lobbies are required to declare to the High Authority for the transparency of public life (HATVP).

To support their petition and thus show that it is a deep demand from the French, the two NGOs had an opinion poll carried out by the Ifop Institute. According to this study, 79% of French people believe that politicians are too influenced by lobbies and 84% think that politicians should make public meetings with lobbyists.

⚠ [Survey] 79% of French think that politicians are too influenced by lobbies. It's time to regulate (really) the #lobbying ➡ 2 proposals brought by @TI_France & @WWFFrance https://t.co/N2TC9AjFK5✍ pic.twitter.com/gC4f8lwJhC

Transparency France (@TI_France) September 30, 2019

"The publication of the agendas seems to us complementary with the law Sapin 2 which currently regulates the lobbying, explains Marc-André Feffer, president of Transparency International France, contacted by France 24. It is a way to make the elected official responsible at the same time receives the lobbyist and the lobbyist who is received by the elected one.An open agenda also allows to see if the policy takes the trouble to receive everyone to listen to the arguments of the ones and the others on the same subject.

Currently, nothing obliges elected officials to publish their agenda. Some members have made this choice, but they are exceptions. This is particularly the case of the deputy of Maine-et-Loire Matthieu Orphelin. Elected in 2017, the former spokesperson of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation made the choice, as soon as he arrived at the National Assembly, to hide nothing.

"These relations between politicians and lobbyists exist and they must be as transparent as possible, Judge Matthieu Orphelin, contacted by France 24. There is a crisis of confidence of the French vis-à-vis the policies They fantasize partly the influence of lobbies on our decisions so it is urgent to go beyond the obligations of the Sapin 2 law. "

"Create a movement that brings transparency to volunteering"

The MP claims to have a ready-made bill in his drawer, but prefers to wait for the idea to work at his colleagues to draw. Today, only a few dozen parliamentarians, out of 925 deputies and senators, have made this choice.

WWF and Transparency International France are nevertheless aware that much of the lobbying is done upstream of Parliament. Their request therefore also concerns the government as a whole - ministers and members of ministerial cabinets - as well as senior officials.

"The idea is to create a movement that brings transparency to the voluntary sector," says Marc-André Feffer, hoping for a "snowball effect" in the end, to obtain a reform of the regulations in the National Assembly. and in the Senate. "

According to the head of Transparency, this "friendly pressure" paid off during the European campaign. Before the ballot, the NGO asked the French candidates if they were ready to publish their agenda in case of election to the European Parliament. Of all elected officials, half did so.

Volunteering, however, will not solve everything, so much the inertia capacity of parliamentarians is great. "At some point, it will have to go through the regulation or the law and act like the European Parliament, which obliges rapporteurs and committee chairs to publish their meetings with lobbyists," said Matthieu Orphelin.

Source: france24

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