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Commission européenne

Communiqué de presse

Bruxelles, 13 décembre 2013

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič: Joint Transparency Register to be stronger and keep its unique scope

After a full review of the Joint Transparency Register, which lists all groups and organisations wishing to influence the decision making process at the European Commission and the European Parliament, a working group of the Commission and the EP Bureau has come up with some 30 immediate improvements including strong incentives to encourage organisations to register.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner responsible for interinstitutional relations and administration, said: "The recommendations will make the register stronger. It will give the public more information about the interest groups and organisations which are active at EU level in transparency. It will give more incentives to organisations which are registered, and it will be tougher on those who don’t play according to the rules. At the same time, I am glad that we preserved the wide scope of the register which is unique in the world. All groups and organisations which are in the register should be proud, and their clients and members should be so as well.”

The current Register was set up jointly by the European Commission and the European Parliament in 2011. It covers all organisations which are active in influencing the decision making process at the Commission and the Parliament, whatever their purpose, status, structure or budget. Currently, an estimated 75% of all relevant business-related entities and around 60% of NGOs operating in Brussels have registered. The total number of registered organisations is currently around 6,000.

The working group recommended some 30 changes to strengthen and clarify the Interinstitutional Agreement. More incentives should be put in place to make organisations register voluntarily. A further review of the "Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Commission and the European Parliament on the transparency register" is recommended for 2017.

The discussions in the High Level Group showed that the only legal basis for a mandatory register is Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It would raise a great number of complex legal issues, in particular with regard to the scope of the register, and compliance with other articles of the treaties. Article 352 requires unanimity in the Council and in several Member States the approval by national Parliaments. At present, the Council does not participate in the Joint Transparency Register.

Next steps

The conclusions and recommendations of the working group, which were approved by unanimity with one abstention, will be presented, to the EP Bureau, after which the Committee on Constitutional Affairs will need to examine them. A final proposal will be voted by the full House, if possible before the end of the current legislature.

Vice-President Šefčovič will present the results of the working group to the College of Commissioners.

The EP working group was chaired by European Parliament Vice-President Rainer Wieland and included European Parliament Vice-Presidents Anni Podimata (S&D, EL), Isabelle Durant (Greens/EFA, BE), Edward McMillan-Scott (ALDE, UK), Oldřich Vlasák (ECR, CZ), and EP Quaestor Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL, CZ), Francesco Enrico Speroni (EFD), Martin Ehrenhauser (NI, AT) as well as Committee on constitutional affairs chair Carlo Casini (EPP, IT) and additional MEPs Rafał Trzaskowski (EPP, PL) and Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT) - coordinators in the Constitutional Affairs Committee.

The list of recommendations for changes to the Interinstitutional Agreement will be available on the Transparency Register website later today.

Contacts :

Marilyn Carruthers (+32 2 299 94 51)

Antonio Gravili (+32 2 295 43 17)

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