New measures to encourage lobbyists to sign the EU Transparency Register
Measures to encourage lobbyists working with the EU to sign the EU’s public “Transparency Register” were backed by the Constitutional Affairs Committee on Tuesday. MEPs reiterated their demand that the register be made compulsory and meanwhile approved new provisions to push interest groups to make their relations with the EU more transparent.
Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT), MEP in charge for the update of the Register, said: "The approval of this report, which endorses an agreement reached by Parliament and the European Commission, is an important step towards greater transparency of the EU institutions. We insist on our request for a mandatory register for all organizations engaged in EU policy-making and call on the Commission to take all necessary steps for this purpose. Parliament pledges to adapt its internal provisions in order to guarantee incentives for the registered organizations. ”
The decision was approved unanimously.
So far an estimated 75% of all relevant business-related organisations and approximately 60% of NGOs operating in Brussels have signed the Register. The committee reiterated its demand that signing the register be made compulsory and asked the European Commission to table a proposal, by the end of 2016, to this end.
The committee backed the introduction of incentive measures that would link the registration to:
- further facilitation of access to Parliament’s premises and help in contacting MEPs,
- easier authorisation to organise or co-host events on its premises,
- facilitated transmission of information, including through specific mailing lists,
- participation as speakers in committee hearings,
- better chances of getting patronage by the institution for events,
The committee also encouraged the Commission to adopt similar measures.
The committee called for a more detailed definition of the notion of "inappropriate behaviour", as defined in the Code of Conduct attached to the Register, and asked for full disclosure of the identity of all clients represented by each registered organisation.
The current Register was set up jointly by the Parliament and the Commission in 2011. Parliament has always wanted the register to become compulsory, but it has proven difficult to find a suitable legal basis for this in the EU Treaty.
These measures will be implemented internally by the Parliament. MEPs also asked for an evaluation of the Register before the end of 2017.
Procedure: Inter-Institutional Agreement, Rule 127