Murky channels for corporate influence in the European Parliament, which have run into controversy time after time, continue to escape serious measures. The unmitigated dangers posed by unofficial cross-party groups of MEPs and industry are a stark illustration of continued lobbying under the radar. Often playing a similar role to the Parliament’s official intergroups,1 MEP-industry forums are platforms that connect MEPs and “interested stakeholders” (predominantly industry representatives) to meet and discuss specific issues. What differentiates the two is that MEP-industry forums – as unofficial cross-party groups – are not subject to the same transparency rules and safeguards as official intergroups. In fact, they are not subject to any rules at all, and can keep their members, funding and even existence hidden from public view.
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