Politico reported this week that Ireland’s strict Regulation of Lobbying Act is gaining traction as a model for other European countries — including Germany, Italy and Spain — seeking to introduce or strengthen lobbying transparency rules. The 2015 law takes a broad view of who constitutes a lobbyist, and mandates they register and declare lobbying activities or face a fine and potential two-year prison sentence, according to the article.
ESTA strongly supports openness in lobbying, and has subscribed to the EU Transparency Register since the beginning in 2008.
“Our members support clear lobbying rules, and the Irish transparency law is an interesting example that appears to have worked well so far for both government and industry,” notes ESTA Secretary General Peter van der Mark. “Rules on lobbying transparency are crucial for Brussels and national capitals, but it is important that we avoid a patchwork of differing and sometimes even conflicting rules across the EU.”