Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans is using a new online tool which will publish details of any meetings she has with lobbyists as and when they happen.
MEP Jill Evans
The tool called LobbyCal has been developed by her parliamentary group to help elected members share details online of lobbyist meetings (http://www.greens-efa.eu/transparency-of-meetings-with-lobbyists-14895.html)
It is being launched twelve months after the European Commission committed itself to bring forward a mandatory register of lobbyists. As yet they have failed to do so, and so a group of MEPs, including Jill Evans, has decided to act to make lobbying more open and transparent.
Jill Evans MEP said that from now on any meetings that she has with lobbyists will automatically be made public via http://www.jillevans.net/calendarPageStandalone.html
Jill Evans MEP said:
"The people of Wales who elect me have a right to know who is trying to influence my law-making work and how. This is particularly true when it comes to corporations and big business who are able to employ lobbyists to act on their behalf.
"There's nothing wrong with lobbying itself. It is important for politicians to hear a range of opinions before taking a view on policy or legislation. But we must ensure that there is full transparency so people can have confidence in the legislative process.
"I have long called for a mandatory register of lobbyists in Europe, and I regret that the European Commission has so far failed to bring that forward. We can help restore peoples' faith in parliament by ensuring that our work is as open as possible and I think this new way of publicising meetings in my diary will assist in doing that. I also hope that other political groups will take this up."