Brussels, 18 April 2013 – Current flaws in the Transparency Register:
• Far too many major players missing. Although the number of registrants has increased, far too many active lobby players are still not on the list. Law firms involved in lobbying continue to evade disclosure.
• Incomplete and inaccurate information. Despite the European Commission announcing it would introduce random spot checks on entries in the register, the quality of the information provided in the register is very questionable. Many loopholes remain in relation to the lobbying activities of major corporations, consultancies, law firms and trade associations. For instance, many of those who are the biggest spenders on EU lobbying activities according to the register are in fact very minor players or may not even be lobbying at all. Widespread underreporting by many large lobbying entities remains a problem.
• Monitoring. The Register is not properly audited or monitored. This undermines credibility, and raises questions about its contribution to increased transparency and accountability.
• Code of conduct for lobbyists. The current code of conduct is very vaguely worded and treated as little more than a box ticking exercise. The introduction of the code of conduct for MEPs has made it, in its current form, an outdated tool, which also contains loopholes in relation to payments made to MEPS. There is moreover no form of enforcement from the side of the EU institution. As a result, it does not allow for regulating lobbyists’ behaviour.
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