SEAP calls for strengthening of EU Transparency Register

European Court of Auditors

The Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP) takes note of the recent report by the European Court of Auditors which highlights that there has been an increase of lobbyists on the registry but that improvements in the EU Transparency Register are still needed. As an organisation committed to upholding the highest standards of transparency, ethics and integrity in lobbying activities, SEAP recognises the importance of a robust and effective transparency framework.

While lobbying plays a vital role in democratic processes facilitating meaningful dialogue between stakeholders and policymakers, it is imperative that such activities are conducted in a transparent manner. The EU Transparency Register serves as an important tool in providing citizens with insight into the potential influence of lobbyists on decision-making processes within the EU institutions.

Therefore, SEAP agrees with the findings of the report that the current EU Transparency Register has notable weaknesses and information gaps, which diminish its effectiveness. Loopholes in the Register allow for certain lobbying interactions to remain undisclosed, undermining public trust and potentially leading to undue influence.

SEAP continues to advocate for pragmatic solutions which enhance transparency while accommodating the legitimate needs of stakeholders to engage with EU policymakers. Furthermore, SEAP urges for improved enforcement measures to ensure compliance with registration and information requirements. Additionally, there is a need to enhance the accessibility and user-friendliness of the transparency register’s website to facilitate public scrutiny of lobbying activities.

“The report provides a clear analysis of the Transparency Register we have not seen recently. It demonstrates that more effort is needed to strengthen the EU Transparency Register, including the closure of loopholes and the implementation of minimum requirements for registration and disclosure. Moving forward we should work together – interest representatives and EU institutions – to address these shortcomings”, concluded Emma Brown, Vice President of SEAP.