Spain ranks in the bottom four when it comes to regulating the “hidden influence” of lobbyists in government, according to a report on European countries released by Transparency International yesterday.
Spain was ranked 16th out of the 19 countries surveyed - with only Italy, Cyprus and Hungary faring worse - with an overall score of 21 percent for being able to safeguard against undue influence from lobbyists.
Still, as Transparency International and Professor Fernando Jiménez explained, all countries analysed performed poorly in the report.
“It is a general problem across Europe and the difference between Spain and others, for example Germany at 23 percent, is not very big,” said Jiménez, a professor of political science at the University of Murcia and collaborator on the Transparency International research.
“In the case of Spain, there are more problems than it seems.”
The report ranked 19 countries as well as three European institutions - the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
The report harshly criticizes Europe’s overall inability to control lobbying, stating that across the continent, “the revolving door is spinning out of control”.
 “The report reveals that none of the countries assessed adequately control the revolving door, a key risk leading to undue influence on political decisions,” the report states.
 Researchers assessed for how well the countries and institutions controlled against excessive influence of lobbyists in political decisions, as well as the promotion of transparent and ethical practices.

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