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Go-ahead for talks on mandatory EU lobby register

Go-ahead for talks on mandatory EU lobby register

Photo © endostock - Fotolia

(STRASBOURG) - Negotiations between MEPs, the Commission and Council on a mandatory Transparency Register for EU lobbyists were given the go-ahead by European Parliament political groups Thursday.

The aim of the proposed inter-institutional agreement is to to enhance the transparency of the work of interest representatives at the European Parliament, Commission and EU Council, with a view to increasing public trust in the EU decision-making process.

Parliament's agreed mandate sets out several goals for upcoming talks with the other EU institutions. The text seeks to:

  • get the Council to join the Transparency Register,
  • ensure legal certainty and clarity; Parliament reiterates its preference for legislation that would be binding upon interest representatives,
  • maintain a wider definition of lobbying, covering both direct and indirect representation (as with the current system), as well as seeking clarity on exemptions,
  • respect each institution's roles and structures,
  • ensure respect for MEPs' independent mandate,
  • improve the precision and better quality of Transparency Register data, to allow for better reliability and comparability, and
  • provide sufficient resources (human, administrative, technical and financial) for the effective functioning of the scheme.

Danuta Huebner MEP called on the other EU institutions to follow the Parliament's lead: "Now is the time for all EU institutions to demonstrate unity in their approach."

The Parliament also wants the proposed new inter-institutional agreement on a mandatory Transparency Register to be open to other institutional actors who want to be part of it on a voluntary basis, such as agencies or EU countries' permanent representations.

MEPs said the new agreement should improve the accountability of EU and its institutions to citizens.

The agreement means Parliament's representatives can now enter into inter-institutional negotiations with the Commission and the Council to shape the final version of the new EU transparency rules for lobbyists.

EP draft negotiating mandate

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