Economist: Lobbying in Europe: Making money and influencing people

A press review featuring Fabio De Masi

May 15th, 2021

Economist: Lobbying in Europe: Making money and influencing people


"European have long assumed that excessive lobbying is only an American problem. But over the past 15 years Brussels has become the world's second capital of the dark arts after Washington, DC, with Berlin not far behind. Both cities have become infested with new arrivals who are pushier and use more sophisticated techniques than old-fashioned associations such as the Federation of German Industry or BusinessEurope. Weak rules in both places are not designed to cope with the explosion of activity. (...)

A law passed in March will require members of the Bundestag to declare regular lobbying work. After further recent scandals involving MPs pocketing substantial commissions from companies making face masks, or receiving money from lobbyists for Azerbaijan in return for voting in favour of pro-Azerbaijani motions, the government has also drafted a bill with stricter ethics rules for parliamentarians that is winding its way through the Bundestag. The bill bans MPs from any lobbying work, accepting cash donations or making paid speeches. (...)

Fabio De Masi, a parliamentarian for the Left party, argues for a complete ban on corporate donations to political parties and an upper limit for party donations from private individuals. (...)"