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EU lobby register: Council entering negotiations is a chance for coherent lobby transparency


Today, the Council of Member States, in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), adopted its position for negotiations on the EU Transparency Register for lobbyists. The Commission had drafted a new Inter-Institutional Agreement (IIA) in September 2016. The Council now asked for amendments to this draft and proposed its own commitments in a separate draft decision. The Parliament had already adopted an own negotiation mandate in June 2017. This was strengthened by Parliament’s resolution on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions in September 2017. Council, Parliament and Commission can now start negotiations to arrive at a new inter-institutional agreement as legal basis for the EU Transparency Register.

 

MEP Sven Giegold, rapporteur for transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions, comments:

“The readiness of the Council of Member States to join the EU Transparency Register negotiations with Commission and Parliament is a great opportunity for coherent lobby transparency of all EU institutions. The Council finally heard the many calls of the European Parliament, civil society and citizens to join the lobby register that Parliament and Commission had started in 2011.

Yet, opening today’s present from the Council, one finds mostly empty packaging. To win back more trust of EU citizens with a strengthened Transparency Register, the Council has to bring much more to the table than it decided today. To heal the big backlog of the Council in lobby transparency, instead of homeopathic doses, it needs real medicine. The Council only offers to make lobby meetings conditional upon registration for its Secretary-General and Directors General of the General Secretariat, yet these are not the ones to negotiate and decide EU laws. Council needs to make meetings conditional upon registration for those who negotiate and decide EU laws to put pressure on lobbyists to make themselves, their intentions and finances transparent to the citizens.

Commission’s draft had proposed for the current and upcoming Council presidency to make lobby meetings conditional upon the transparent registration of those interest representatives. Parliament’s resolution had asked Council to make all lobby meetings of permanent representations conditional upon registration. Council should now follow suit.”

 

BACKGROUND

Council’s amendments to Commission’s draft IIA (today): http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/31958/st15332en17.pdf

Council’s draft decisions on interactions with lobbyists (today): http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/31959/st15336en17.pdf

Council’s press release (today): http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/12/06/transparency-register-council-agrees-mandate-for-negotiations/

 

Parliament’s resolution (14.09.2017) on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P8-TA-2017-0358&language=EN&ring=A8-2017-0133

Our comment on Parliament’s resolution (14.09.2017): http://www.sven-giegold.de/2017/european-parliament-calls-for-major-steps-towards-greater-transparency-and-integrity-in-the-eu/

Parliament’s negotiation mandate (15.06.2017): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/resources/library/media/20170622RES78125/20170622RES78125.pdf

 

Commissions draft IIA (28.09.2016): http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/EN/1-2016-627-EN-F1-1.PDF

Annex to Commission’s draft IIA (28.09.2016): http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/EN/1-2016-627-EN-F1-1-ANNEX-1.PDF

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