How to make a transparent registration in the European Commission Register of Interest Representatives

Publication date: 
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Drafted by the EU Civil Society Contact Group in co-operation with the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency

Guidelines for making a transparent registration in the European Commission Register of Interest Representatives.

Executive summary / policy recommendations: 

In an attempt to ensure that the European Union is “open to public scrutiny”, the European Commission in November 2005 launched the European Transparency Initiative. As part of this initiative, a register for interest representatives was launched in June 2008. Companies, business associations, consultancies as well as civil society organisations that engage in “activities carried out with the objective of influencing the policy formulation and decision-making processes of the European institutions” are encouraged to register in a voluntary online register. The EU Civil Society Contact Group and ALTER-EU have criticised the register as fundamentally flawed because it does not require organisations to register individual lobbyists who work for them, and because financial information on lobbying expenditure in the register is inconsistent and not comparable. Members of the EU Civil Society Contact Group and ALTER-EU have therefore decided to adopt a
higher standard of transparency than the inconsistent and insufficient requirements of the European Commission. Our guidelines set a constructive example of what the European Commission must improve in its register of interest representatives.

A meaningful register must disclose:

  • the names of lobbyists
  • the finances involved in any lobbying effort
  • the specific lobbying issues

Our guidelines are addressed to all entities that want to register in the voluntary European Commission “Lobby Register”. We wrote them primarily for organisations that will register in the NGO category of the register but the standard that we set should in our view apply to all lobbyists. In the guidelines you can find:

  • which additional information we believe you should submit in the interest of transparency
  • an example of how to calculate your expenditures related to lobbying
  • a short text with our critique of the register that we recommend you to publish in your registration
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