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Accredited lobbyists 

Introduction

Interest representatives can be private, public or non-governmental bodies. They can provide Parliament with knowledge and specific expertise in numerous economic, social, environmental and scientific areas. They can play a key role in the open, pluralist dialogue on which a democratic system is based and act as an important source of information for Members in the context of the performance of their duties.
The Treaty on European Union provides a framework for and seeks to foster relations between the European institutions and European political leaders, on the one hand, and civil society, EU citizens and representative associations, on the other.

Parliament's procedures for accreditation

Following delegation by the Quaestors, who have responsibility for visitors' access, the Accreditation Unit has been mandated to handle all requests by representatives of interest groups to access the Parliament buildings.

The procedure for granting access cards is currently being revised. Pending the introduction of the relevant new rules, interest representatives will be issued with a temporary badge, valid for one day only, for each of their visits to the European Parliament. On presentation of a valid identity-card or passport, the access card will be issued by reception desk of the European Parliament in Brussels (ASP MALL) or by the reception desks in the LOW and WIC buildings of the European Parliament in Strasbourg between 08:30 and 19:00.

Only official representatives of interest groups registered in the Transparency Register can apply for this access card. Registration on the register is valid for a maximum of one year, and access cards are issued on a daily basis. They will only be issued during periods of activity of the institution.


The new Transparency Register

On 23 June 2011 the European Parliament and the European Commission signed the Interinstitutional Agreement on the Establishment of a Transparency Register.

A joint register of the two institutions will enhance transparency as it will be easier for citizens to find information they are looking for about individuals and organizations that are in contact with the EU institutions. This "one-stop shop" system should also make the registration of representatives of specific interests easier.

The register will combine the existing Parliament and Commission registers.

As of 23 June, individuals and/or organisations are invited to register in the new Transparency Register. Once registration is completed, you can then request/renew accreditation to the EP using the paper form (see below). Your accreditation details will appear on the public page of the Transparency Register and no longer in the EP Register of Accredited Lobbyists. The latter will be phased out progressively.

Indeed, point 29. of the inter-institutional agreement (see the whole text below) foresees that "the switchover from the existing registers of the parties hereto to the new common register will take place over a transition period of twelve months from the day of entry into operation of the common register. Organisations and individuals currently registered in either system shall be invited to renew their registration in the common system. Once the common register has entered into operation, registrants will be able to switch their existing registration to the common register at the date of their choice but no later than… the end of a twelve-month period from the entry into operation. Any new registration or update of existing data will only be possible through the common register".