The EU Transparency Register: on the right path, but not quite there yet

15 December 2016
Maja Kluger Dionigi (Senior Researcher, Think Tank EUROPA) and Hans Martens (Senior Adviser to EPC on energy, public service reform and CHES)

The transparency of EU institutions’ interactions with interest representatives is again very much the talk of the town in Brussels. The occasion is the European Commission’s recent proposal for a third revision of the Transparency Register, based on an Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) between the Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of the EU. The proposal aims to move from the current voluntary system to one where registration becomes a precondition for interest representation in the EU, complemented with a strengthened code of conduct. In this paper Maja Kluger Dionigi and Hans Martens evaluate the Commission’s proposal and argue that although the register has been quite successful, it needs to be strengthened further if it is to contribute to making the EU more transparent. They also emphasise that regulating the conduct of lobbies is only one side of the transparency coin. The other side of the coin – the rules governing EU decision-makers – is equally important to increase transparency and to avoid conflict of interest.  

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