Monday, 5 December 2011

Too many lobbyists in Brussels?

BRUSSELS - The European Payments Council (EPC) has fiercely criticised the influence of lobbyists in Brussels, who, according to EPC Chairman Gerard Hartsink, are 'fabricating issues'.

Hartsink cited figures that suggest there are up to 30,000 lobbyists in Brussels and added: "Anyone who feels that the EU decision-making process is at fault is certainly free to challenge the EU institutions on the matter, however, they should refrain from fabricating a 'SEPA governance issue'." Hartsink stressed that the SEPA inititative is shaped in accordance with EU law and policies and that "it is not driven exclusively by the banking industry". 

EPC Board Member Javier Santamaria said: "There is no 'SEPA governance issue'. On the contrary, the debate regarding this particular initiative has been extensive and open to all interest groups at every juncture of the process."

Following a complaint, the European Commission started an anti-trust investigation in September into whether the EPC has abused its standard-setting role in the European payments and banking industry to block new entrants to the payments market.

Published previously in E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy, CPP (c) London 2011. Copyrights apply. Picture: EU