Obama gets tough on lobbyists

The presidential order to close down Guantanamo is great news.

But news reports from Obamas first day in office, yesterday, also caught my attention. Including tougher rules on lobbying.

Anyone working for the Obama adminstration has to sign a contract not to lobby the US government while Barack Obama is president, according to the Los Angeles Times. So, if you leave the administration, you could be in quarantine until 2017 if Obama is reelected.

People who have already been lobbyists cannot work within similar areas during their first two years in the Obama administration.

The new president also took measures to improve transparency.

Barack Obama starts of well. Extensive lobbying has become a major problem for democracy.

While Obama is true to his vision of politics,  the European Commission have not even implemented a mandatory register of lobbyists in Brussels.

I have written a book on lobbyism and transparency in the EU (Maktkamp Europa) and talked about the subject in Brussels. To me, stricter control of lobbyists is a necessity to increase the legitimacy of the European institutions.

Will Obama´s decision give new impetus to campaigns like ALTER-EU? I hope so.

Other blogs on Obama, transparency, lobbyism: Bente Kalsnes

One Response to Obama gets tough on lobbyists

  1. Bente Kalsnes says:

    Thanks for the link, Mats. I haven’t read your book, but got really curious about it since I’ve written some articles for Norwegian newspapers about transparency (or rather lack of) in the EU. It would surprise me if the Commission doesn’t decide for mandatory registration with the “Register of Interest Representatives” this summer. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/transparency/regrin/welcome.do
    So far, only 880 companies/organizations have registered.

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