The creation of a Transparency Register for European Union lobbyists was approved by the European Parliament presidents and political group leaders on June 15.
The proposed new inter-institutional agreement, which will now be discussed between MEPs, the Commission and Council, aims to increase public trust in the EU decision-making process.
As outlined in a European Parliament press release, the plan is to ensure legal certainty and clarity, maintain a wider definition of lobbying, covering both direct and indirect representation (as with the current system), as well as seeking clarity on exemptions, and respecting each institution’s roles and structures and improving the precision and better quality of Transparency Register data, to allow for better reliability and comparability.
“Despite unfortunate procedural delays, unrelated to the content of the text and the work of our Contact Group, I very much welcome the decision of the Conference of Presidents to finally back our proposal. Transparency issues are a sensitive topic, which is not approached in the same way in the European Parliament. But there is a strong will to go forward, in order to achieve new progress. Parliament’s policy of openness is the approach we want to adopt during the future negotiations”, said Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR).
“The European Parliament has always been a leader in the debate on transparency. Now is the time for all EU institutions to demonstrate unity in their approach. We should enhance our joint Transparency Register and make it more comprehensive. All European institutions should demonstrate that they are open and close to the citizens”, said Danuta Hübner (EPP, PL).
In September, Parliament will vote on Sven Giegold‘s report on “Transparency, Accountability and Integrity in the EU Institutions”. The Greens/EFA Group will then try again to enforce binding rules for dealing with lobbyists.
Sven Giegold, rapporteur on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions, sai: “Citizens have a right to know which lobbyists politicians have met in the process of law making. Regrettably, such a binding legislative footprint has been rejected by conservatives, social-democrats and liberals… If the European Parliament demands a lot from others in the negotiations, but offers nothing in return, the negotiations will not work. The unambitious mandate is a burden for those who will negotiate with the Commission and the member states.”