On 6 May 2021, the Council has adopted new rules, in agreement with the European Parliament and the Commission, to ensure transparent and ethical interest representation.
The new joint framework expands the scope of the existing register and introduces the registration of interest representatives in the transparency register as a prerequisite for certain activities covered by the Interinstitutional agreement, such as those aimed at influencing policy, legislation or decision-making in relations with any of the three institutions.
Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for European Affairs of Portugal stated that: "Transparency and accountability are essential for maintaining the trust of Union citizens in the legitimacy of the political and legislative decision making in the Union. Joining the transparency register is a new clear commitment by the Council in favour of these values."
Each of the signatory institutions has pledged to apply the joint framework set out in the Interinstitutional agreement, taking into account their specific role, and will be able to adopt complementary transparency measures. In this context, the Council has adopted a decision on the regulation of contacts between the General Secretariat of the Council and interest representatives, as part of the negotiated package. This decision includes new rules, making conditional upon prior registration of the interest representatives in the register their meetings with senior staff of the Secretariat of the Council, as well as their participation in thematic briefings and public events organised by the General Secretariat and their access to the Council premises.
The European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society in accordance with the Treaty on European Union (TEU). As ECOPNET (European Cooperation & Partnership Network), we would like to underline that transparency and accountability are essential for maintaining the trust of citizens in the legitimacy of the political, legislative and administrative processes of the Union.
On 20 May, the three institutions will sign the Interinstitutional agreement and the joint political statement accompanying it. The texts will then be published in the EU Official Journal and are expected to entry into force in early July.
The Commission presented its proposal for a new Interinstitutional agreement on a mandatory Transparency Register for interest representatives covering the Parliament, the Council and the Commission in 2016. Since 2011, the Parliament and the Commission have jointly operated a public register for interest representatives. The Council has been an observer since 2014.
Source: Council of the EU Press Releases