Last week, the EU assembly formally agreed to establish a joint Lobbyist registry for the European Commission and the European Parliament and plans to have it operational in June of this year.  Coming on the heels of a two MEP resignations in a “pay-for-play” scandal, the intent of the common registry is to make it easier for parties to sign-up.  As of now, the joint registry is voluntary.  However, an amendment to make filing mandatory has been adopted and will be implemented in the future.

Financial disclosure for the registry is as follows:

“Professional consultancies, law firms and self-employed consultants will be required to detail their turnover attributable to the activities falling within the scope of the register in brackets of 50,000 euros if the total is below half a million, 100,000 if the total is between 0.5-1m, or in brackets of 250,000 if the total is above 1m.

In-house lobbyists and trade or professional associations must give an estimate of the cost of activities falling within the scope of the register.

Meanwhile NGOs, think tanks, research and academic institutions, organisations representing churches and religious communities and organisations representing local, regional and municipal authorities must specify their overall budget and provide a breakdown of their main sources of funding.

All registrants must disclose the amount and source of funding received from the EU institutions in the year closest to the date of registration.”

Currently there are over 1,700 organizations registered as interest groups in the Parliament and approximately  3,900 registered with the Commission.

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