Vice-President of the European Parliament Diana Wallis (ALDE, UK) and Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič presented on Wednesday an update on the progress towards the establishment of a single register for all entities and organisations participating in European policy-making processes.

Speaking in Parliament at a seminar on the proposed transparency register, Diana Wallis noted that broad political agreement had now been reached within the inter-institutional Working Party which has been negotiating on this issue.

"Our aim from the outset has been to create a register which will be inclusive and comprehensive", she noted. "It should provide as broad a picture as possible to citizens on the range of actors who are seeking to influence policy-making at EU level. We will take very seriously the responsibility to provide content that is clear, understandable and accurate, in order to ensure that the register will be credible and an instrument of trust between European institutions and citizens".

Ms Wallis continued: "Furthermore, we want to ensure a level playing field for all the organisations and entities who are concerned. Up to now, certain organisations such as representatives of religious organisations, law firms and think-tanks have been reluctant to register. We have met with many of these bodies in order to understand their perspectives and I believe that our proposals on the register - which we hope to adopt shortly - will show that we have taken due consideration of these organisations' positions and made efforts to address their concerns".

Vice-President Wallis welcomed the presence of a representative from the Belgian Presidency of the Council at the seminar, reiterating the view of Parliament and the Commission that participation of the Council was essential in the establishment of a single transparency register for the institutions.

Next steps

The next meeting of the inter-institutional high level group negotiating the establishment of the transparency register – composed of MEPs Diana Wallis, Isabelle Durant (Greens/EFA, BE), Jo Leinen (S&D, DE), and Carlo Casini (EPP, IT) and Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič for the European Commission – will take place on 10 November 2010.