Lobbying regulation framework in Poland

Briefing 12-12-2016

Poland became one of the first countries in Europe to regulate lobbying activities with the introduction of its Lobbying Act, which entered into force on 7 March 2006. It aims to increase the transparency of lobbying in three ways: 1) an obligation for the government and ministries to publish their legislative agendas; 2) the creation of a lobby register; 3) requiring all public authorities participating in the law-making process to declare their lobby contacts. The Lobbying Act introduced the concept of 'professional lobbying', defined as a paid action performed on behalf of third parties aimed at influencing a public authority in the legislative process. It also set up a register for those who carry out such activities. There is a fee required upon registration, and in the event of lobbying by an unregistered entity, the minister responsible for administrative affairs can issue a fine. Apart from the lobby register set up under the Lobbying Act, the two parliamentary chambers keep their own registers of lobbyists accessing their premises. However, as these three registers lack any relevant information on where and how lobbyists seek to gain influence, and have gathered only around 400 entries over 10 years, they have been criticised for not providing reliable information on the lobbying landscape in Poland.