Today, the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) of which Friends of the Earth Europe is a member, together with a broad coalition of civil society organisations from across Europe, launched their campaign to urge candidates for the upcoming European elections to "stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business". 
Concerted lobbying from Europe's dirtiest industries has resulted in the gutting of EU climate and energy proposals, it has emerged today.
At the mid-way point of a week of trade talks between the EU and US, big business lobby groups are continuing to gain privileged access to negotiators.
Friends of the Earth Europe has learned today that the EU and US chief negotiators, as well as their respective negotiating teams, will attend a private reception in Brussels this evening hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce and attended by major European business lobby groups such as BusinessEurope. 
Transparency campaigners cannot find a single area of "good progress" made by the review group to improve the EU's lobby register, according to a scorecard published today by The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), which includes Friends of the Earth Europe. The scorecard assesses the outcome of the recent EU Transparency Register review process against ALTER-EU's own recommendations for reform. The assessment has been made after receiving leaked copies of the final outcome of the review process.
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation in the EU, ALTER-EU  today handed-over a petition signed by more than 10,000 people urging Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to stand up for full transparency over lobby practices in the EU .
The new code of conduct for Members of the European Parliament is failing to prevent potential conflicts of interest in a number of specific cases, finds a new report released today. 
The European Commission has been found guilty of maladministration following a complaint by Friends of the Earth Europe in relation to the entries of oil companies Shell and BP in the European Union's lobby register. 
Over the next months, the European Commission and Parliament will review their voluntary joint Transparency Register that entered into force June 2011. The register continues to have a large number of shortcomings, due to its voluntary nature. Hundreds of companies, consultancies and law firms involved in EU lobbying remain unregistered.
Food speculation by banks and financial institutions continues to contribute to rapid and unpredictable swings in food prices, which hit the most vulnerable hardest. Today, finance ministers have the opportunity to curb this destructive practice, as the council of economic and financial affairs discusses its position on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) – which sets new regulations for financial markets.
Transparency about the free trips and hospitality MEPs receive could be a step closer if new ethics proposals are properly enforced.
A group of MEPs looking at the European Parliament's code of conduct has proposed ways to improve its implementation. The document, which has been made available online  today by Transparency International-EU, includes provisions and guidelines for the monitoring of gifts and invitations to events organised and financed by third parties which MEPs receive. The proposal will come into force as of July 1, 2013.