Photo: Benjamin Siebert

Lobbyism and the EU data protection reform

Erstellt am 12.02.2013

The EU data protection reform is one of the most complex legislative proposals that occurred in the history of the European Union. Our impression is, that the lobbying on this reform is much more intense than for other legislative proposals.

Generally speaking, the work of lobbyists is legitimate. Direct representation of interests towards decision-makers is of course possible and welcomed to get an insight into interest groups' points of view. Problems arise, however, when arguments and positions of lobby groups are accepted unchallenged into the law making process.

Looking at the current data protection reform one can see that certain lobby groups try, through frequent inquiries for meetings and invitations to events, to unilaterally influence political decision-making. This impression is confirmed when you look at the list of interest groups Jan Philipp Albrecht has met as the rapporteur of the European Parliament for the data protection regulation.


Meetings with interest groups


Financial sector, insurance 18.87%
Consultancies, law firms, 11.32%
Security & Software 10.84%
Think tanks, research-, higher education institutions 5.66%
NGOs, trade unions 11.32%
Communication, Media 13.21%
Companies & groups 17.45%

Organisations representing, local, regional and municipal authorities, other public or mixed entities 11.32%


Green events 22.4%
National-, local authorities bodies 24.14%
Companies, Consultancies, law firms 36.12%
Think tanks 1.72%
Associations, NGOs, foundations 6.9%
International, MEPs 8.62%



These lists and illustrations are not exhaustive. The first one captures both long and short, as well as individual and group meetings. The second one covers events where Jan Philipp Albrecht had an active role, e.g. as a speaker at a panel debate. In the last eleven months, Jan Philipp Albrecht and his team have met with 168 different interest groups and participated in 58 different events on data protection.


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