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Updated Guidelines for the Transparency Register


The new voluntary “Transparency Register” (a joint effort of the European Commission and the European Parliament) was launched on 23 June 2011. It replaces the Register of Interest Representatives of June 2008, which followed the European Transparency Initiative1 launched in November 2005 to ensure that the European Union is “open to public scrutiny”. The Register of Interest Representatives avoided the terms ‘lobbyist’ and ‘lobbying’, replacing them by ‘interest representative’ and ‘interest representation’. The new “Transparency Register” only mentions “organisations and self employed individuals […] engaged in activities falling within the scope of the register.”

Our guidelines reflect in depth discussion within the EU Civil Society Contact Group and ALTER-EU as well as the advice of lobby transparency experts, and aspects of US lobby disclosure legislation.

These guidelines cover those steps of the registration that are particularly relevant to improve EU lobbying transparency. They do not cover each step of the online registration procedure.

Executive summary / policy recommendations: 

Members of the EU Civil Society Contact Group and ALTER-EU have therefore decided to adopt higher standard of transparency than the inconsistent and insufficient requirements for registration in the “Transparency Register”.

Our guidelines for registration set a constructive example of how the “Transparency Register” could be easily improved.

A meaningful register must disclose:

  •  the names of lobbyists and the number of full-time equivalents (fte’s) should be declared by all registrants,
  • the finances involved in any lobbying effort, including the specific funding resources, and
  • the specific lobbying issues, including the official reference numbers of targeted legislative pieces.

Our guidelines are addressed to all entities that want to register in the voluntary “Transparency 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, and
  • a short text with a critique of the register that we suggest you include in your registration.