Full text: Legal Study

13 3.4. TREATY REFORM The analysis of the previous sections clearly showed that a sufficient legal basis for a binding lobby-register can already be found in the existing primary law. However, for reasons of clarity it might be useful to include an explicit legal basis in the treaties in the context of a future treaty reform. For example, Article 298 TFEU could be amended to include a paragraph 3 stating “The European Parliament and the Council acting by means of regulations in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure may establish a mandatory register for lobbyists and binding standards for the activities of lobbyists.� Such a provision could be implemented on the basis of the requirements for amending the treaties are laid down in Article 48 TEU. Amendments are to be developed by a European Convention or by an Intergovernmental conference. The reforms then need to be ratified by all Member States in order to enter into force. 4. OPTIONS TO ENHANCE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CURRENT SY STEM As shown in section 3, establishing a mandatory register would require the adoption of a regulation through the ordinary legislative procedure or the special procedure mentioned in Article 352 TFEU. In both cases, the European Commission would need to propose such a regulation and the Council would have to approve of it (unanimously and only with the consent of Parliament in Article 352 TFEU and acting on the basis of a qualified majority vote as a co-legislator with Parliament in the ordinary legislative procedure). Given the reluctance of the Council to adopt rules on transparency and the length of legislative procedures in the EU, options to improve the current system and to aim at a de facto binding character should be considered as possibilities in the short term. In this context, it is worth pointing to the possibility of regulating the behavior of the staff of the EU’s institutions through the Staff Regulations. The legal basis for staff regulations can be found in Article 336 TFEU. It stipulates that Parliament and Council can enact Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and the Conditions of Employment of other servants of the Union based on the ordinary legislative procedure. There are no relevant restrictions regarding the competences of the EU institutions concerning rules which only apply to their own personnel when they interact with lobbyists. For example, rules requiring Commission staff to only speak at events organised by registered organisations or to only meet with lobbyists from registered organisations could be incorporated into the Staff

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