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Transparenzbericht: Christdemokraten wollen Zivilgesellschaft schaden und intransparenten Lobbyismus schützen


Am Donnerstag wird im Europaparlament der Giegold-Bericht über “Transparenz, Rechenschaftspflicht und Integrität in den EU-Institutionen” abgestimmt. Heute hat die EVP-Fraktion zahlreiche Änderungsanträge vorgelegt, die den Bericht in vielen Teilen abschwächen. Dazu sagt der Berichterstatter und wirtschafts- und finanzpolitische Sprecher der Grünen/EFA-Fraktion im Europäischen Parlament, Sven Giegold:

“Die Christdemokraten legen die Axt an die europäische Zivilgesellschaft. Die Christdemokraten wollen Organisationen, die durch eine staatliche Gesinnungsprüfung fallen, den Geldhahn abdrehen. Eine staatliche Behörde soll bewerten, ob die Organisationen auf der Basis überprüfbarer Fakten argumentieren. Staatliche Wahrheitsprüfungen passen zu Russland, Kuba oder Venezuela nicht aber zur Meinungsfreiheit Europas. Das ist der Demokratie in Europa unwürdig.

Neben den demokratieschädlichen Änderungsanträgen zur Finanzierung der Zivilgesellschaft, wollen die Christdemokraten andere Teile des Berichts deutlich abschwächen: Nach dem Willen der Christdemokraten soll das Transparenzregister nicht für alle Lobbyisten gleichermaßen gelten. Anwälte sollen sich als Lobbyisten hinter ihren besonderen Rechten auf Verschwiegenheit berufen können. Unregistrierte selbständige Lobbyisten sollen weiterhin Zugang zum Europaparlament bekommen. Auch Mitarbeiter der EU-Kommission wollen die Christdemokraten von der Lobbytransparenz befreien: Nach den Transparenzskandalen um TTIP und CETA, wollen die Christdemokraten sogar das für TTIP an Dokumentenzugang erreichte wieder ungeschehen machen. Auch wollen sie eine Fortsetzung intransparenter Lobbytreffen von Kommissionsmitarbeitern, die Handelsverträge mitverhandeln. Insgesamt sind diese Änderungsanträge ein demokratisches Armutszeugnis: Die Christdemokraten wollen der Zivilgesellschaft schaden und gleichzeitig intransparenten Lobbyismus schützen.“

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Der komplette Berichtsentwurf wie vom Verfassungsausschuss verabschiedet: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A8-2017-0133+0+DOC+XML+V0//DE

Die christ-demokratischen Änderungsanträge: http://www.sven-giegold.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/EPP-AMs_INI-Transparency_submitted.pdf

 

Zusammenfassung der Änderungsanträge der Christdemokraten (EVP):

Lobby transparency

  • Delete part of §1: voluntary legislative footprint as IT tool
  • Weaken §2: no call on MEPs to check if lobbyists are registered before they meet them, no inclusion of Secretary-Generals in “no registration no meeting”-rule
  • Delete §4: EP-Bureau to help MEPs publish their lobby meetings on MEPs’ online profiles
  • Weaken §6: no lobby transparency of policy-drafting Commission staff below Heads of Unit, including those who negotiate TTIP and CETA
  • Weaken §19: no entrance ban for lobbyists to the Parliament buildings, if they are self-employed
  • Weaken §27: replace obligation for MEP staff to learn how to deal with lobbyists with a weak encouragement formulation
  • Weaken §21’s 2nd part, effectively insisting on the restriction of not more than four lobbyists from the same entity entering the EP buildings

Citizen-friendliness

  • Weaken §8 by deleting the call for an online one-stop shop for all transparency and integrity-related information

Lawyers who lobby

  • Weaken §7: discount on duties of Law firms in the Transparency Register
  • Weaken §18: delete “substantial risk” of misuse of statutory provisions

Transparency Register funding

  • Weaken §23: instead of now “substantial” increase, only “proportional” increase, without saying proportional to what

Commission’s Code of Conduct

  • Weaken §30 now calling for 3 years cooling-off for all former Commissioners by replacing with welcoming the Commission’s proposal (3 years for former presidents, 2 years for all other formal Commissioners)
  • Delete §31: decisions on new jobs of former Commissioners and senior Commission staff to be taken independent of those who are affected instead of the present ethics committee hand picked by Commission
  • Delete §32: annual report by Commission on where senior Commission staff leaves to (which mostly reflects the legal status quo according to EU staff regulations)

Expert Groups minutes

  • Delete §37: Commission to publish expert group minutes including diversity of opinions

Access to documents incl Trilogues and trade

  • Weaken §45 referring to the already adopted Ferrara report (on access to documents), by deleting points on
    • independent oversight of (de)classification of documents
    • publication of Trilogue documents
    • publication of all documents from Parliament’s Bureau, Conference of Committee Chairs and Conference of Presidents (of political Groups)
  • Delete §48: safeguard transparency progress achieved on the TTIP negotiations, use this as minimum and model for all trade agreements
  • Delete §50’s 2nd part: full reciprocal transparency on trade agreements already while scoping and regarding negotiation mandates

Anti-corruption

  • Delete §39: consider minimum standards regarding disqualification of candidates in European elections due to corruption via an EU directive
  • Delete §64: Commission to list publicly companies debarred from EU procurement due to their corruption

Euro governance

  • Delete §57: revision of 6pack and 2pack for more Parliamentary scrutiny over key documents of the European Semester
  • Delete §58: Eurogroup to include Parliament for the monitoring of the ESM, implementation of contractual conditions

Whistleblower protection

  • Delete §59: Welcomes Ombudsman’s whistleblower rule investigation
  • Delete §62: Ombudsman as focal point for whistleblowers to find help

Anti-NGO funding by EU (alike CONT Pieper report)

    • Add new §§ similar to a draft-report by CDU MEP Pieper in CONT on making EU funding for NGOs more difficult, including:

 

  • (New) 44 a. Calls for the EU public procurement directives to be amended for political active organisations in such a way that organisations are eligible for funding only if they argue by means of verifiable facts; calls for recipients, before they receive funding, to give a corresponding undertaking and for the Commission and Court of Auditors to conduct appropriate random checks; rejects any funding of organisations which demonstrably disseminate untruths and/or whose objectives are contrary to the fundamental values and/or policy objectives of the European Union;
  • (New) 53 a. Urges the Commission, in parallel with the revision of the Financial Regulation, to consider the introduction of an EU-wide code of conduct also for NGOs and lobbyists applying for EU funding; points out that this code of conduct would provide guidance to NGOs on how to comply with legal and transparency obligations, sound financial management and an appropriate use of resources; calls on the Commission to establish simplified procedures for small NGOs to ensure a level playing field in the application procedures;
  • (New) 45 a. Calls on the Commission to present an opinion by 1 February 2018 on whether and to which extent and – where applicable – by which criteria outcome agreements with the aim of influencing politicians and governments are developed  with NGOs receiving EU funding;

 

Helpful

  • correct §7: registration-conditionality for speakers, patronage, hosting only within the scope of the Transparency Register
  • correct §21: bring back our text to the original intention to ease the reactivation process for lobby badges because present facilities are annoying without added value for transparency or accountability

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