Wednesday

7th Dec 2022

EU parliament revokes Russian lobbyist badges

  • Gazprom and other Russian lobbyists no longer have access to the EU parliament. (Photo: qwertyuiop)
Listen to article

Accredited Russian lobbyists will no longer be allowed inside the European Parliament.

European parliament president Roberta Metsola on Thursday (2 June) had told the conference of presidents, which is where the leaders of the parliament's political groups meet, that she wanted the accreditations revoked.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Philippe Lamberts, co-president of the Greens, welcomed the move.

"We thank president Metsola for acting on our request to withdraw Russian lobbyists' accreditation from the European Parliament. We cannot accept that representatives of a warmongering country are still given the opportunity to exert influence on our policies and decision," he said, in an emailed statement.

Lamberts noted that Russian lobbyists, however, still have access to the European Commission and the Council, representing member states.

An EU parliament source said it still had to be finalised before it goes into immediate effect. But the move follows weeks of deadlock among the EU institutions to first remove them from the EU's joint-transparency register, managed by the EU parliament, the European Commission and the Council.

The register is a database of lobbyists that try to influence EU lawmaking. Those listed are allowed official access to the EU institutions.

The parliament's vice-president Katarina Barley had, on 15 March, sent a letter addressed to Clément Beaune of the French EU presidency and Vera Jourova of the European Commission. In it, she proposed removing the Russian affiliated lobbyists from the register.

Both the European Commission and the European Parliament wanted them gone, but resistance emerged from the Council under the French EU presidency.

With no joint-decision in sight, the European Parliament on Thursday has decided to go solo. It comes after the Greens, along with other leading MEPs from the various main political factions, demanded the European Parliament take unilateral action instead.

Thursday's move means all organisations with Russian headquarters listed in the EU's joint-transparency register can not access the parliament premises in Brussels and Strasbourg.

This includes: Rusatom International Network, Association of Russian vodka producers, Association of European Businesses, Consulting Agency Rumyantsev & partners, Aircraft Paint Technologies, United Company Rusal, Novolipetsk Steel, Kaspersky, Lukoil, PhosAgro, Acron, Gazprom and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.

It also covers people under EU sanctions, said the EU parliament source.

Those working the entrance to the EU parliament buildings will then be notified to deny them entry.

Exclusive

EU to clean house of Russia lobbyists

Brussels is to wave goodbye to Russian lobbyists under new sanctions, ending a 20-year era of influence peddling in Europe.

Exclusive

Borrell gets pension from MEP fund set for taxpayer bailout

Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief, is currently drawing a pension from a European Parliament fund that is some €400m in debt and may require a taxpayer bailout at a time of rising inflation and high energy costs.

Opinion

The military-industrial complex cashing-in on the Ukraine war

From the outset, arms manufacturers eyed this war as a profitable business opportunity. Structural changes took place across the EU, not only to fast-track arms to Ukraine, but also to make more public finance available to the highly-lucrative arms industry.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  4. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  5. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  6. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe

Latest News

  1. EU takes legal action against China over Lithuania
  2. EU Commission shoring up children's rights of same-sex parents
  3. The military-industrial complex cashing-in on the Ukraine war
  4. EU delays Hungary funds decision, as Budapest vetoes Ukraine aid
  5. Borrell gets pension from MEP fund set for taxpayer bailout
  6. Autocrats make us all less secure
  7. Big Agri's lies: green EU farming not to blame for food insecurity
  8. German top court declares €800bn EU recovery fund 'legal'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us