Full text: Legal Study

of the institution or enter its premises, lobbyists are factually required to adhere to these 
rules.15 The rules could therefore be characterized as de facto binding. It should be noted, 
however, that the regulatory impact of an institutional register depends on the actual 
implementation. For example, if access to an institution can also be granted to individuals 
who are not registered on an ad hoc basis as in the case of the German Bundestag or the 
European Parliament, the impact of the register can be weakened. 
Mandatory legislation on lobbying encompasses binding laws and regulations which are 
applicable to all individuals or institutions engaging in lobbying activities. The approaches in 
the United States and Canada are the usual reference points in this context, but recently 
similar approaches have been taken in a number of European countries such as Austria, 
Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia.16 Even though these laws differ in terms of their scope and 
regulated activities, they share a binding and mandatory nature which is imposed on all 
individuals engaged in the relevant lobbying activity. Compliance with these laws can be 
enforced through the standard forms of regulatory sanctions including fines and in some 
cases even imprisonment.    
The current approach of the European Commission and the European Parliament belongs 
to the second group of institutional registers. It is a non-mandatory register based on an 
interinstitutional agreement between the EP and the Commission.17 Interinstitutional 
agreements have similar legal consequences as Rules of Procedure of the respective 
institutions. They are binding on the institutions and can therefore have similar factual 
binding effects on lobbyists if they interact with the respective EU organs. However, an 
interinstitutional agreement cannot establish any formal binding obligations on individuals in 
the same way as mandatory legislation. It should also be noted that the Transparency 
Register does not extend to the Council and lobbying activities towards this institution.  
The Transparency Register of the EP and the Commission can be compared to the 
voluntary registers in some EU Member States such as Germany, but it is unique as it covers 
two institutions (Commission and Parliament) and not just one as in the case of the German 
Bundestag’s register.  
15 Report on conclusion of an interinstitutional agreement between the European Parliament and the 
Commission on a common Transparency Register, A7-0174/2011, 26 April 2011, p. 23 
16 Kalni?š, above note 6, p. 4 
17 The legal basis for interinstitutional agreements is Art. 295 TFEU.

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