Ways to close the open palm
Arvamus 24 Mar 2011  EWR
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Jana Mittermaier, European Voice
The MEP cash-for-influence scandal exposes fatal flaws in the European Parliament's transparency regime.

The credibility of the European Parliament has been dealt a blow by allegations in the most recent edition of a British paper, the Sunday Times, that three of its members took secret payments to table amendments on behalf of a lobbying firm representing private clients. Two of the MEPs have already resigned over the affair, and the third is fighting a desperate rearguard action.

The Parliament's accessibility to a wide range of interest groups is one of its chief virtues. It is also its Achilles heel, as evidence mounts that a well-financed corporate lobby has abused this access and a small number of MEPs have taken advantage of weak lobbying controls to pervert the EU legislative process for their personal gain.

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