Recently the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard carried the following report: ‘When it comes to the secretive business of the professional lobbyist, the situation in the EU leaves much to be desired. True, a database of lobbyists has been operational since 2008. Unlike its equivalent in the USA, however, this register is voluntary, and on the matter of specific contracts, thoroughly deficient. Indeed, most lobbyists probably do not even appear in it: as of 4 July, 2 833 interest representatives are registered, yet it is estimated that at least 15 000 lobbyists and 1 500 lobby groups are operating in Brussels. Investigations suggest that PR companies and lawyers’ offices make up a quarter of these lobby groups; the rest are international organisations, chambers of trade, political parties and non-profit organisations.’
1. Is the Commission planning a mandatory register for lobbyists on the model of that in the USA?
2. If so, when will such a register be opened?
3. If not, why not?
4. Are there any estimates of how many contracts are awarded in the EU to lobbyists registered in the database?
5. Are there any estimates of how many contracts are awarded in the EU to lobbyists not registered in the database?