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European Commission - Statement

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission hold second round of negotiations on a mandatory Transparency Register

Brussels, 12 June 2018

On 12 June 2018, negotiators from the three institutions continued their discussions on strengthening the EU Transparency Register. Parliament's negotiators, Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume and Chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee Danuta Hübner, together with Deputy Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency Monika Panayotova and Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans committed to make further progress towards a common interpretation of the key issue of conditionality.

The three institutions discussed ways to make their interactions with interest representatives conditional on the registration of such representatives in the Transparency Register. Establishing this principle will provide citizens with more information about who seeks to influence the EU legislative process, allowing them to better scrutinise how EU decision-making works.

Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "Being on the Transparency Register must be a pre-condition for lobbyists to get access to lawmakers. The Commission has applied this principle for almost four years, and it works. Now we must agree on the practicalities for extending it to other European decision-makers. Further work is needed to ensure that we can agree on how all three institutions commit to meaningful implementation of the principle 'no registration, no meeting'"

The three institutions reiterated their common ambition to reach a meaningful improvement on the status quo, and their commitment to ensure the transparency of the negotiating process itself.

Background

The European Commission presented its proposal for a new inter-institutional agreement on a mandatory Transparency Register for lobbyists covering the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on 28 September 2016. The proposal aims to strengthen the framework for a transparent and ethical interaction between interest representatives and the three institutions. Since 2011, the Parliament and the Commission have jointly operated a public register for interest representatives to increase the transparency and accountability of the EU decision-making process. The Council has been an observer to the current scheme since 2014.

On 15 June 2017, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, bringing together the Parliament's President and political group leaders, approved the Parliament's negotiating mandate and made it public.

The Council adopted its negotiating mandate on 6 December 2017 and also decided to make it public.

Two tripartite political meetings were held in 2017 ahead of the Transparency Register negotiations, with the Estonian Presidency. The three institutions held a first negotiating round on 16 April 2018, under the Bulgarian Presidency.

A meeting with stakeholders is planned for September 2018.

 

STATEMENT/18/4150

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