Commission proposes mandatory Transparency Register for all EU institutions28 September 2016
The Commission has proposed an Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) which will aim to put in place a stronger system ensuring the transparency of lobbying activities, building on the existing voluntary Transparency Register of the Parliament and the Commission. The Commission is proposing that all three institutions – including the Council – be subject to the same minimum standards for the first time. Under these proposals, meetings with decision-makers from the three institutions would become conditional on prior registration in the Transparency Register. Since the Commission introduced this rule for its own interactions with interest representatives in November 2014, there were around 4,000 new entries in the existing Register.
The proposal is said to also clarify the scope of activities and bodies covered, to strengthen the monitoring and enforcement of the Register’s Code of Conduct for lobbyists and to simplify and improve the quality of data through streamlined input requirements and increased quality control. Registrants who fail to comply with the Code of Conduct could face temporary suspension of their interactions with the institutions or removal from the Register.
Transparency International – EU Office however has qualified the new proposal as timid and cosmetic. According to Transparency International EU, the European Parliament and the Council is where the resistance to reform is coming from. To date, national governments have not joined the voluntary register and have clearly indicated that any proposal that would include Member States’ permanent representations in Brussels would not be up for debate.
Further information on the proposal can be accessed here.
The position of Transparency International EU Office on the subject can be found here.