EU Transparency Register

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Written by Rafał Mańko, Marie Thiel and Elisabeth Bauer

Widespread lobbying in the EU institutions has led to criticism regarding the transparency and accountability of the EU’s decision-making process. In response to these concerns, the Parliament set up its transparency register in 1995, followed by the Commission in 2008. The two institutions merged their two instruments in a joint European Transparency Register (TR) in 2011 on the basis of an Inter-Institutional Agreement (IIA). So far, the Council has remained only an observer to the system.

EU Transparency Register © iQoncept / Fotolia

The TR is a voluntary system of registration for entities seeking to directly or indirectly influence the EU decision-making process. It has grown at a rate of around 1 000 organisations a year, to reach over 7 000 organisations today. While it is very difficult to make estimates on the actual coverage of the register, a recent academic study (2013) found the register to cover 60-75% of lobbying organisations active…

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