As of: 09/08/2021 2:35 p.m.
Too close to lobbyists, too lax rules, too little transparency: LobbyControl takes some – not all – politicians to justice. After the election, a lot of playful trust has to be regained.
From LobbyControl’s point of view, the balance sheet for the past four years is mixed. There have been positive developments in terms of transparency. For example, that the Bundestag recently significantly tightened the rules for ancillary income for members of parliament. It is also positive that a lobby register has been introduced in which interest representatives have to register.
ARD capital studio
“This electoral period will also be remembered for the unprecedented lobbying and corruption scandals,” says Imke Dierßen, Managing Director of LobbyControl. The Wirecard scandal, for example, is a prime example of inadequately regulated lobbying: “With the help of a lobby network made up of former top politicians and top officials, the group managed to influence the federal government and get support there, right up to the Chancellery.”
LobbyControl association presents assessment for the previous legislative period
Andre Kartschall, RBB, Tagesschau 4:00 p.m., 9/8/2021
Wirecard, mask affair, Azerbaijan
Wirecard once again made it clear how problematic this door opener function of former politicians is. The rules for such a change of sides between politics and business are still not strict enough and are also only insufficiently controlled.
“The scandals for which members of the CDU and CSU are responsible, namely the mask affair and the ropes with the autocratic regime of Azerbaijan, are particularly unbearable,” said Dierßen. According to Dierßen, these scandals have shown how easy it is for MPs to take advantage of their position to enrich themselves personally. The indignation of many citizens about this is understandable.
Often, however, the generalization was very strong: “Politics, all politicians can be bought, are corrupt and so on.” For the vast majority of politicians this is “very, very bitter”. Because they are of integrity and exercise their mandate and office with all their might. “And they cannot be bribed,” said Dierßen.
Regain trust in the next legislature
It is important for the coming federal government and the next Bundestag to regain trust that has been lost. This requires a political culture that maintains a more critical distance from stakeholders, pays more attention to balance and is even more committed to transparency, according to LobbyControl.
For example, a so-called lobby footprint for legislative procedures should be introduced: “The lobby footprint for laws would trace which lobbyists have influenced the ministries where the laws are created,” says Timo Lange from LobbyControl. “And so the public and ultimately also Parliament could understand better how the laws actually came about.”
Permanent construction party financing
Another building site is the issue of party financing. Nothing has happened here in recent years, despite announcements. Especially now, during the federal election campaign, it is becoming clear how important the topic is. For example, LobbyControl calls for a cap on large donations: “It cannot be the case that we will not find out what donations have been made here in the case of donations below 50,000 euros for this election year until 2023. We have seen that in the past, then because there are still quite considerable sums of money, “says Lange. That too has to get better.
LobbyControl’s annual report: Politicians must regain public trust
Philipp Eckstein, ARD Berlin, September 8, 2021 2:16 p.m.