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Over 3,900 signatures in petition to Barroso demanding transparency on Dalligate

Online petition by transparency network presented to European Commission to reveal more about former commissioner's resignation.

Staff Reporter
5 April 2013, 12:00am
Koen Roovers of ALTER-EU and Rachel Tansey from Corporate Europe Observatory present the petition to an EC representative.
Koen Roovers of ALTER-EU and Rachel Tansey from Corporate Europe Observatory present the petition to an EC representative.


Over 3,900 signatures were collected in an online petition to the European Commission calling for stronger transparency and ethics rules around lobbying, and an improved code of conduct for Commissioners.

The petition calls on European Commission president José Manuel Barroso to "reveal what happened in the lobbying scandal that led to the resignation of Commissioner John Dalli."

Dalli resigned on 16 October 2012, after an investigation by the EU's anti-fraud unit OLAF claimed the former commissioner was aware of a €60 million bribe being solicited from Swedish Match, to lift an EU trading ban on snuff tobacco 'snus'.

"The Commission must end its secrecy and release the full facts about Dalligate. The scandal shows that the current rules around lobbying are too weak. It is too easy for unregistered lobbyists to meet with top officials and influence EU decision-making. Please act now to introduce stronger transparency and ethics rules around lobbying, including an improved code of conduct for Commissioners," the petition reads.

The petition was organised the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), a coalition of about 200 civil society groups, trade unions, academics and public affairs firms concerned with the influence exerted by corporate lobbyists on the political agenda in Europe.

"With new tobacco laws in the pipeline, there are fears that Dalli may have been caught in a tobacco industry set-up designed to delay changes the industry don't want," Alter-EU said of the circumstances that led to Dalli's resignation.

"The trouble is that nobody knows what really went on, because the European Commission is refusing to make the facts public. They won't admit that the scandal happened because current EU rules on contacts with lobbyists are too weak."

OLAF's investigation report has so far been kept under wraps by the European Commission. Silvio Zammit, of Sliema, was charged in the Maltese courts of bribery for having asked €60 million from Swedish Match to reverse the ban on snus.
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I thoroughly agree with Better Future that had the Maltese Public at large been made aware of such a petition going round, the list would have reached well over 100,000 signatures - much much more than the kwota referred to by medsun. I would certainly have followed Thorny by being the 3902 signature.
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I totally agree with Thorny, make mine 3,902 signature. where do I sign? good one.
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Rachel Roberts
Make mine the 3,901 signature, where do I sign?
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Yanika Chetcuti
Had it been brought better to the attention of the Maltese public, there would have been at least 100,000 signatures.
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Gee 3,900 out of a population of 500 million is pretty good going... Daqs kwota Malta ..... u le!
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