LOBBYISTS have been lobbying for a register for lobby transparency for years in Finland.
Taru Tujunen, the chief executive at Ellun Kanat and former party secretary at the National Coalition, views that a statutory lobbyist register would be beneficial for both decision makers and all organisations engaged in advocacy.
“We’ve been of the opinion for a long time that the register project is welcome. Many different organisations have called for a register for transparency,” she revealed on Wednesday.
Tujunen expressed her satisfaction that the role of lobbyists has caught the attention of the public in recent weeks, given that lobbying is part of contemporary democratic decision-making.
“Lobbying is part of democratic decision-making, but if it’s not transparent and raises questions then it’s not a good thing. All measures that make it more transparent are very welcome,” she commented.
The debate kindled by the presence of lobbyists and trade unions in the ongoing coalition formation negotiations also indicates that there is a consensus among the coalition-bound parties, opposition-bound parties and lobbyists alike that establishing a register for lobby transparency would be a step in the right direction.
Why is there no register, then?
“That’s a good question,” replied Tujunen. “I don’t know why no one promoted the issue during the previous electoral term. Lobbyists did try to make the proposal already at the time.”
Stefan Wallin, the newly appointed chief executive of Miltton Networks, estimated that the recent debate will accelerate the founding of the register for lobby transparency.
“The Parliament had a parliamentary task force mull over the issue towards the end of the last electoral term. I believe its conclusions will lead to the creation of the register. I think the process to create the register would’ve started anyways at the start of the electoral term, but the debate we’ve had will maybe speed up the preparatory work slightly,” he gauged.
Wallin, an ex-minister and Member of Parliament for the Swedish People’s Party, also stated that the register would have no impact on the activities of Miltton Networks.
“I’m certain it won’t have any impact. Openness and transparency are extremely important values at Miltton. We have nothing against the transparency register and new practices – on the contrary, we’d welcome the register with joy.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi