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.
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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