Earlier this year, Transparency International Germany and the German chemical industry association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie or VCI) entered into a joint project they claimed was to push for legislation that would bring transparency to lobbying in Germany.

“Clear and fair rules are needed for lobbying,” said TI Germany Chair Edda Muller. “The new federal government and parliament should counteract the impression that just a small number of interests, together with those in government power, determine the fate of people in Germany.”

“We are speaking for new legislation that brings about a transparent interest representation – as we are convinced that transparency and plausibility are ensured only if clear-cut rules apply for all,” said VCI director-general Utz Tillmann.

But the coalition between a lead German public interest group and the powerful German chemical industry raised eyebrows of those in civil society wary of corporate takeovers of  public interest groups.