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Brussels, 6 May 2010

Commission and Parliament relaunch work towards a common register and code of conduct for lobbyists

The European Commission and European Parliament today relaunched talks aimed at establishing a joint register and code of conduct for lobbyists. At the initiative of Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič and Mrs Diana Wallis, leading the Parliament delegation composed of Carlo Casini, Jo Leinen and Isabelle Durant, the high level working group, launched during the previous parliamentary legislature and Commission, will now resume its work with the intention of completing negotiations on the common register as early as possible, after reporting back to both institutions.

"We are very pleased with the progress we have made with the Commission register since it was established in 2008," commented Vice President Šefčovič. "We already have some 2,700 organisations which have signed up. But now I want to take things to the next stage with a joint register with the Parliament. I look forward to fruitful discussions with Mrs Wallis and her team over the coming months."

"The Parliament looks forward to restarting negotiations with the Commission and to establishing the common register," said Diana Wallis, Vice President of the European Parliament. "It is plainly in the interest of our European citizens that we work together to make this system as transparent as possible, and that we chart lobbyists that try to influence EU policy decisions at every stage in the process."

With the opening of the register of interest representatives in June 2008, transparency and access for citizens to information about organisations engaged in advocacy and lobbying activities reached an unprecedented level1. This process is now intended to go one step further with a joint initiative by the Parliament and the Commission

The group met today (6 May) and took stock of the progress made before the European elections last year. This included the joint statement of 22 April 2009 (Set of guidelines for a common register and a common code of conduct) setting out a list of shared points of agreement. Since then, a major feature has been the review2 published by the European Commission last October. Work will now concentrate on the administrative and technical issues that will need to be resolved, including for example the complaint and sanction mechanism.

1 :

Over 2700 registered organisations as of date.

2 :

European Transparency Initiative: the Register of Interest Representatives, one year after. COM(2009) 612 final

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