Groupe 1:  Statutory Lobbying Regulations (Mandatory Regulation)

  1. Austria: Austria’s Federal Law for the Transparency of Lobbying Activities and Representation of Political and Economic Interests was passed in July 2012 and came into force on January 1, 2013. The law establishes clear conduct and transparency rules for lobbying in parliamentary or administrative decision-making processes. It establishes minimum contractual standards and conduct requirements for lobbying. Lobbying companies, businesses that hire lobbyists to represent their interests, individual lobbyists and associations that carry out activities to represent political and economic interests must register in the Austrian Federal Justice Ministry’s official lobby and transparency registry – a public database. Those involved in lobbying must follow a code of conduct and publish this code on their own websites. Violating the conduct code results in financial penalties of up to EUR 60,000 and can lead to the elimination of the entity from the lobby registry, following a decision by the Justice minister. Those eliminated from the registry can only be reinstated after a three-year suspension. The law applies to a wide range of actors in the field of public policy influence. Commentators say the reporting requirements for registered entities are not burdensome and don’t hinder lobbying activities. However, registration is difficult for companies not headquartered in Austria, with the exception of associations that don’t hire lobbyists, but carry out lobbying activities.
  2. Ireland: Lobbying in Ireland is carried out under the Regulation of Lobbying Act of 2015. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) is the institution that oversees the regulation’s implementation and the public consultation process and receives proposals for amendments to the law. Ireland’s lobbying law aims to inform the public about: who carries out lobbying activities and on behalf of whom; the issues involved in lobbying; the purpose of the lobbying; who is targeted. The law led to the introduction of a registry of individuals conducting lobbying activities, a code of conduct, a set of restrictions for some public officials, and new ethical rules for public offices and the provision of information. The registry is public and can be viewed online. The Public Office Standards Commission oversees the implementation of the registry, monitors compliance, offers guidance and assistance and, if needed, investigates violations of the legal requirements. The Commission is an independent body and has six members. The lobbying law also imposes restrictions and conditions on individuals in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
  3. Lithuania: The country’s lobbying law came into force in 2001 and requires all lobbyists to enroll in a public registry and submit annual reports that include revenues and spending related to lobbying, as well as their interests in relation to legislative proposals. Lobbying is defined as action carried out with the purpose of influencing change or repeals in existing legislation or the adoption or rejection of new legislation. The law does not apply to foundations or associations. The institutional ethics commission oversees compliance with institutional ethics standards, regulates public and private interests in public office and controls certain lobbying activities.
  4. Poland: Poland’s law on lobbying in the legislative process was passed in 2005 and focuses on implementation and transparency rules, professional norms, professional control of lobbying and the principles of maintaining a registry of entities involved in such activities as well as their type of activity and the issues they deal with. Lobbying is defined as any action carried out through legal means to influence public authorities in the legislative process. Failure to register as a lobbying entity results in fines of between EUR 750 and 12,500. The Internal Affairs Ministry maintains the database and ensures its security. The law only applies to professional lobbyists and excludes all other categories of individuals or legal entities. There has been extensive debate on how the law should be improved, amid complaints that it imposes excessive reporting requirements on public authorities, which has made them wary of establishing contacts with registered lobbyists.
  5. United Kingdom: The UK passed the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act in 2014. In March 2015, the government launched a registry for lobbying consultants, which requires all individuals involved to register in order to be allowed to carry out such activities. Formal procedures enable individual members of the public to lobby their Member of Parliament but most lobbying activity centers on corporate, charity and trade association lobbying, where organizations seek to amend government policy through advocacy.
  6. Slovenia: Lobbying activity is included in the Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act of 2010. Lobbying is defined as activities carried out by representatives of interest groups who, on behalf of these groups, exercise non-public influence on decisions made by state authorities and the local community, and on the public authority in the discussion and adoption of legislative acts and other general documents, as well as on decisions made by state authorities or local bodies and administrations on other matters than those subject to judiciary and administrative procedures or other procedures carried out according to public acquisition regulations, when the rights and obligations of individuals are decided. Lobbying is defined as any non-public contact between a lobbyist and an individual targeted by lobbying with the purpose of influencing the content or adoption procedure of the decisions noted above. Lobbyists must register in a public database under the supervision of the Anti-Corruption Commission. Some say that the regulation is insufficiently implemented. The Commission has complained about its limited resources having a negative impact on the systematic and rigorous supervision of lobbying.

Groupe2: Soft Regulation (Voluntary Systems of registration for Lobbyists)

  1. France
  2. Germany
  3. Italy
  4. Netherlands

Group 3: Self-Regulation (Mechanisms set up by the Public Affairs Community to promote the transparency of lobbying)

  1. Czech Republic
  2. Denmark
  3. Finland
  4. Latvia
  5. Romania
  6. Spain
  7. Sweden

Group 4: No Specific Legislation on Lobbying (Lobbying unregulated)

  1. Belgium
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Croatia
  4. Cyprus
  5. Estonia
  6. Greece
  7. Hungary
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Malta
  10. Portugal
  11. Slovakia


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