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On 12 June 2018, negotiators from the three institutions continued their discussions on strengthening the EU Transparency Register.

EP negotiators, Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume and Chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee Danuta Hübner, together with Deputy Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency Monika Panayotova and Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans committed to make further progress towards a common interpretation of the key issue of conditionality.

The three institutions discussed ways to make their interactions with interest representatives conditional on the registration of such representatives in the Transparency Register. Establishing this principle will provide citizens with more information about who seeks to influence the EU legislative process, allowing them to better scrutinise how EU decision-making works.

EP negotiator Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR) said: “We want to make sure that we deliver a comprehensive package, ring-fencing all the types of access points interest representatives have, e.g. meetings, events and staff of the three institutions. We want the same level of commitment from the Council and the Commission, so there is a level playing field for all types of interest representation, direct or indirect”.

EP negotiator Danuta Hübner (EPP, PL) said: “The European Parliament must be an open institution. At the same time, citizens have a right to see who is trying to influence whom, in order to hold us all accountable for the decisions we take on their behalf. That is why we encourage our fellow MEPs, especially when they serve as rapporteurs, to only meet registered interest representatives, and use the Transparency tools the Parliament has already put at their disposal”.

The three institutions reiterated their common ambition to reach a meaningful improvement on the status quo, and their commitment to ensure the transparency of the negotiating process itself.

Background

The European Commission presented its proposal for a new inter-institutional agreement on a mandatory Transparency Register for lobbyists covering the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on 28 September 2016. The proposal aims to strengthen the framework for a transparent and ethical interaction between interest representatives and the three institutions. Since 2011, the Parliament and the Commission have jointly operated a public register for interest representatives to increase the transparency and accountability of the EU decision-making process. The Council has been an observer to the current scheme since 2014.

On 15 June 2017, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, bringing together the Parliament’s President and political group leaders, approved the Parliament’s negotiating mandate and made it public.

The Council adopted its negotiating mandate on 6 December 2017 and also decided to make it public.

Two tripartite political meetings were held in 2017 ahead of the Transparency Register negotiations with the Estonian Presidency. The three institutions held a first negotiating round on 16 April 2018, under Bulgarian Presidency.

A meeting with stakeholders is planned for September 2018.