Brussels, 12 January 2013 – EPACA submitted a reply to the public consultation on the Transparency Register held in summer 2012.

EPACA believes that any further amendments to the Transparency Register and its requirements upon registrants should be legislated and mandatory, with clearly explained requirements that apply equally to all lobbyists. As such, we do not necessarily oppose the disclosure of more information per se. Rather, we oppose the disclosure of more information through the current voluntary structure of the register.

Any future tightening of these requirements should be mandatory and applied equally to all lobbyists, not those who choose to be responsible and register voluntarily. It is important that the incentives for joining the register are both tangible and meaningful. In this regard, we believe the Commission and Parliament should stop working with organisations that are not registered. For example, Commissioners or other officials often speak at events organised or sponsored by unregistered organisations. Such actions undermine the credibility of the Register and should be stopped.