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2019.10.10 17:30

Parliament committee wants less lobbying oversight in Lithuania

BNS2019.10.10 17:30

A Lithuanian parliamentary committee has proposed waiving the requirement for politicians to declare meetings with lobbyists.

The parliamentary Committee on State Administration and Local Authorities submitted the proposal while considering the Ministry of Justice's amendments to the Law on Lobbying Activities.

Guoda Burokienė, the committee chair, told BNS the requirement for politicians to declare the meetings would increase the bureaucratic burden.

"A lawmaker already has a lot of work to do, and they would need to write a lot, which would contribute to bureaucracy," the politician said.

The Ministry of Justice had proposed increasing lobbying transparency, by committing all MPs, ministers, government and ministerial chancellors, leaders of political parties, mayors, councills and aadministration directors and their deputies declare the lobbying activity they have been subjected to during the drafting of each bill.

They would be required to submit the reports to the Chief Commission of Official Ethics no later than seven days after the start of lobbying activity.

Sergėjus Muravjovas, head of Transparency International Lithuanian Chapter, says that by renouncing this idea the committee members "in fact wiped out the work of their colleagues over the past two years and threw the bill into the bin".

"What remains in this compromise bill barely differs from the existing law, and as politicians have admitted themselves, it does not work," Muravjovas told BNS.