Madrid, 21 May 2014 – The campaign to get future members of the European Parliament to commit to support the regulation and transparency of lobbying has been a huge success in Spain with 116 MEP candidates signing the pledge to “stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business.”
This number of signatories in Spain is the third highest in Europe, reaching 10% of the total of 1100 MEP candidates from 19 countries who signed the “Politics for People” pledge. The two countries with more MEP candidate pledges are Germany (250) and Austria (157).
The pledge campaign in Spain has been led by Access Info Europe together with a coalition of civil society organisations.
The pledge campaign signatories include front-runners from nine Spanish political parties: Confederación Pirata, Compromís, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, Equo, Iniciativa per Catalunya, Izquierda Unida, Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya, Partido X, and Por un Mundo Más Justo.
No MEP candidate from Spain’s ruling People’s Party signed the pledge, even though over 60 EPP candidates from across Europe have done so. There were also no signatures from the centrist UPyD, which decided not to sign any individual pledges, although the principles of transparency and lobby regulation have been included in its election manifesto.
"The MEP commitments from Spain are particularly important coming from a country which is struggling with multiple corruption scandals, lack of transparency, and unregulated lobbying," said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe.
"There is clearly a concern in Spain about the role of the private sector in the severe economic crisis which has rocked the country in recent years and is still having an impact on the daily life of citizens," added Darbishire.
Access Info and its partner organisations from across Europe will follow up the pledge campaign after the elections and will work with elected MEPs to ensure that they act on their promises during the new parliamentary term.