The EU Transparency Register is becoming an important part of Brussels life, with access to officials increasingly conditioned on adhesion. As a result, the Register now counts more than 8500 entries.
While the Commission provides a basic search capability, it is rather ‘clunky’, does not facilitate comparison of entries, and has no deep linking to promote discussion of the information present. As the Commission makes the raw data freely available for reuse, I decided to have a go at addressing these deficiencies.
The result can be seen on eu-lobbyists.herokuapp.com. We can now for example:
- compare the social partners;
- look at the relative lobby firepower of GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), or GAFAM (with Microsoft too)
- assess the larger Brussels lobbying consultants;
- or see a selection of NGOs.
What the new functionality also illustrates is that many registrants do not understand the questions they were asked to complete. Dial up the budget filter and you can find a number of organisations that declared their total budget, not that allocated to influencing the EU policy making process. An even larger number seem to misunderstand the question about Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) devoted to lobbying.
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