New Lobbyfacts.eu database allows tracking of EU lobbying
By Corporate Europe Observatory – With the biggest companies now spending 40 per cent more on EU lobbying in 2016 than in 2012, monitoring lobby data is more important than ever to expose the extent of corporate influence over EU decision making. The relaunch of popular database Lobbyfacts.eu provides vital new tools for this, including a facility for tracking the lobby spending and Commission meetings of EU lobby actors over several years.
The latest features added to the website hosted by Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl allow journalists, researchers and the interested public to search, sort, compare and analyse EU lobby data over a period of several years. Going back all the way to February 2012, the platform now also provides exclusive access to lobby data no longer available on the websites of the EU institutions. In addition, Lobbyfacts.eu includes information on meetings between lobbyists and the most senior Commission officials.
With the help of Lobbyfacts.eu, users can easily find up-to-date information on the lobby activities of all organisations in the EU transparency register, create a history of lobbying for a particular lobby actor, track the rise and fall of the biggest companies, trade associations, or lobby consultancies in terms of lobby spend and lobbyist numbers, and discover who had the most meetings with high-level Commission officials on which topics.
The improved search function offers a range of filters to exclude misleading or inaccurate lobby data from searches and rankings, and all search outputs can be downloaded and imported into a spreadsheet.
LobbyFacts.eu can, for example, help uncover relationships between changes in lobby spending and major lobby battles, as shown in an analysis of the changes and 2013 peak of tobacco lobby spending that coincided with tobacco industry attempts to weaken consumer protection in the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive.
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Corporate Europe Observatory’s transparency campaigner Erik Wesselius said: “We know that EU citizens are highly concerned about the influence of corporate lobbyists on the European Union’s agenda. The new Lobbyfacts.eu website is a vital tool for anyone interested in tracking Brussels’ most prolific lobbyists and exposing their influence on new laws.”