Brussels, 23 June 2008
The European Commission launched today its online register of interest representatives. All interest representatives engaged in influencing the policy formulation and decision-making processes of the European institutions are invited to register. When registering, they will be asked to disclose some information to enhance the transparency of the relations between lobbies and the Commission.
"Lobbying is a necessary and growing business, and regulation is inescapable. I am happy that the profession agrees, and has signalled its readiness to protect its own reputation and help us preserve the legitimacy of our interaction. By joining the Commission register now, bona fide interest representatives have a unique opportunity to demonstrate their commitment in practice" said Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas.
Organisations that sign up to the register will have to indicate who they are, what their objectives and missions are and what policy areas they are particularly interested in. Furthermore, they can describe their main activities of interest representation as well as their networking efforts. Registrants will also have to disclose financial information, so that the driving forces behind a lobbying effort become clear. Organisations lobbying on behalf of third parties will have to indicate the names of their clients.
When registering, interest representatives must sign up to a code of conduct which has been adopted by the European Commission. It sets out general principles — such as openness, honesty and integrity — which should guide the activities of interest representatives when they are dealing with the European Commission. The code also formulates seven clear rules of behaviour that interest representatives are expected to respect.
Commissioner Kallas further elaborated: "The Commission has proposed a joint register for EU institutions and is pleased that the European Parliament supports the idea by proposing a joint working group to set up such a register as soon as possible. The Commission will now participate constructively in this work."
The multilingual register is publicly accessible online and will be fully searchable.
The register: www.ec.europa.eu/transparency/regrin