Guidelines for the Transparency Interinstitutional Agreement: what’s new?

On 25 February, SEAP organised an info session in partnership with the Joint Secretariat of the Transparency Secretariat representing the three main EU institutions to provide more clarity to our members on the novelties of the Transparency Register. 

Ms Marie Thiel joined us on behalf of the European Parliament, while Mr Christos Sakellariou joined on behalf of the European Commission. The session was moderated by Paul Varakas, President of SEAP. 

The IIA on a mandatory transparency register between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission is in force since 1 July 2021.

Conditionality is the principle whereby registration in the register is a necessary precondition for interest representatives to be able to carry out certain covered activities. Some of the activities covered by the conditionality principle: 

  • Meeting Members of the Commission, their Cabinet members and DGs of the Commission; 
  • Access to Parliament’s and Council’s premises;
  • Speaking at Parliament Committee meetings;
  • Meeting Council Presidency; (Permanent Representative and Deputy)
  • Membership of Commission’s expert groups. 

Those who wish to stay registered in the Transparency Register beyond 20 March 2022 need to update their entry with the requested data by 19 March, otherwise they will be removed. Once removed, a new application must be submitted and validated by the Transparency Secretariat. 

One major novelty of the new Transparency Register is that the Council of the European Union joined the Commission and Parliament. Another important aspect refers to how different groups declare their sources of funding:

  • Those promoting their own interests or those of their members (e.g. companies and groups, trade and business associations) disclose lobbying costs, incl. for hiring intermediaries; 
  • Those that advance the interests of their clients (e.g. law firms or public affairs consultancies) disclose client revenue per client, incl. 3rd country government bodies; 
  • Those not representing commercial interests (e.g. civil society organisations, NGOs, charities, foundations, academic and research institutions, organisations representing churches etc.) need to disclose sources of funding. 

Those who are unsure on what needs to be declared and what not under the new rules, or have any additional questions, are asked to contact the Transparency Secretariat 

You can find here the Presentation to SEAP – Transparency Secretariat

On 21 February there were 13.573 registrants in the Transparency Register, 51% amended their entry already, while 49% have yet to amend it. 

At SEAP we will continue to monitor the environment for the Public Affairs Professionals and do our utmost to support our members. If you’re not a member of SEAP yet, please get in touch with us via the form on the website.