The joint European Transparency Register, which came into effect in June 2011, builds on experience gained with the previous Parliament and Commission registers.
The Register is designed as a “one-stop-shop” for interest representatives and an unofficial directory of “lobby contacts” with the EU institutions. By June 2013, around 5 700 organisations, mostly based in Brussels, had registered.
The inter-institutional agreement which established the Register included a review clause; a process which will start in June 2013. EP Vice-President Wieland and Commission Vice-President Šefčovič will take part in an inter-institutional working group. On 10 June the EP’s Bureau decided how to proceed.
The review is likely to focus on key issues such as the mandatory or voluntary nature of the register, the monitoring process as well as technical improvements. The Council is expected to observe the review before deciding whether to participate in the register.
A majority of stakeholders support the register, but it is also criticised for a lack of teeth. Inter alia, both transparency campaigners and interest group representatives express concerns about the access of non-registered organisations to MEPs and Commissioners in the decision-making process.