A new, improved EU Transparency Register was launched on Tuesday with the aim of making EU-decision-making and the activities of lobbyists more transparent and more accountable while also giving lobbyists more incentives to register and making the database easier for lobbyists and the public to access.

A new version of the EU Transparency Register is being launched today following joint work by the European Commission and the European Parliament. This 'second generation' of the Register implements the provisions of the revised Inter-institutional Agreement signed between the European Parliament and the European Commission in April 2014.

The new system brings changes to the way human resources invested in lobbying are declared, requires additional information about involvement in EU committees, forums, intergroups or similar structures, and legislative files currently followed; it also extends the requirement to declare estimated costs related to lobbying to all registrants.

Additionally, a streamlined 'alerts & complaints' procedure allows for greater scrutiny and more efficient treatment of allegedly misleading information, and new incentives are given to increase the added value of registering, such as a requirement to register for all those seeking to meet with Commissioners, Cabinet Members or Directors-General, or for any organisation wishing to speak at hearings organized by the European Parliament."

A more user-friendly website improves the public interface and provides for a more straightforward registration process with guidance provided in a step-by-step approach.

European Parliament Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR) said:

"I welcome the progress made since the joint European Parliament-European Commission Transparency Register was first set up in 2011.

Our citizens are entitled to expect law-making to be transparent and ethical. The new register will make this easier as it is more user-friendly.

It is still voluntary but Parliament's aim since 2008 has been to have a mandatory register that all organisations and individuals engaged in lobbying activities will be obliged to sign.

And it is important to note that the code of conduct now applies to everyone, whether they sign the register or not."