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EU Transparency Register

Written by Marie Thiel and Elisabeth Bauer,

[Updated 26 April 2016] Widespread lobbying in the EU institutions has led to criticism regarding the transparency and accountability of the EU’s decision-making process. In response to these concerns, the Parliament set up its transparency register in 1995, followed by the Commission in 2008. The two institutions merged their instruments in a joint European Transparency Register (TR) in 2011 on the basis of an Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA). So far, the Council has remained only an observer to the system.

EU Transparency Register

© iQoncept / Fotolia

The TR is a voluntary system of registration for entities seeking to directly or indirectly influence the EU decision-making process. It has grown at a rate of around 1 000 organisations a year, to reach over 9 000 organisations today. While it is very difficult to make estimates on the actual coverage of the register, an academic study in 2013 already found the register to cover 60-75% of lobbying organisations active at EU level. In line with the IIA, a political review of the system took place in 2013-2014. As a result, a new improved registration system was introduced in January 2015.

Parliament has been calling for a mandatory register for lobbyists interacting with the EU institutions since 2008. It has argued that a mandatory register would ensure better standards for lobbying and more transparency. The topic has become increasingly prominent, especially since Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker put the issue on the political agenda, committing to introduce a proposal for a mandatory system by end 2016, as requested by Parliament. Furthermore, from 1 December 2014 onwards, the Commission publishes information on meetings of Commissioners, members of their cabinets and Directors-General with lobbyists. It is currently running a public consultation on the proposal for a mandatory register.

Laws in Member States on lobbying regulation vary. Mandatory registration systems exist in only a few countries, with the most recent law being introduced in Ireland.

This is an updated edition of a briefing published in December 2014.

Read here the complete Briefing on ‘EU Transparency Register‘ in PDF.

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About Transparency Register

The Joint Transparency Register Secretariat aims to raise awareness about the register for organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy-making and policy implementation run jointly by the European Parliament and the European Commission

Discussion

4 thoughts on “EU Transparency Register

  1. Since its foundation in 2005, the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), a coalition of over 200 non-governmental organisations across the EU, has called for mandatory registration of EU lobbyists and binding rules for their behaviour. See: http://www.alter-eu.org/taxonomy/term/23

    Like

    Posted by Erik Wesselius | December 9, 2014, 10:37

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The EU Transparency Register | European Parliamentary Research Service - January 27, 2015

  2. Pingback: In Focus: EU institutions | European Parliamentary Research Service - December 8, 2014

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved

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