vdp entered in Lobbying Register
Berlin, 22 February 2022
The Lobbying Register Act (Lobbyregistergesetz, LobbyRG) entered into force on 1 January 2022. Lobbyists are required to register with the new Lobbying Register by the end of February. vdp has already met this requirement and therefore has registered on time.
During the last legislative session, the Grand Coalition agreed that the German Bundestag would maintain a digital Lobbying Register that is available for public inspection. The duty to register applies to all individuals and organisations with direct or indirect influence on the decision-making processes of MPs, parliamentary groups or the Federal government. The provision applies to the entire leadership level, i.e. to contact with Parliamentary Secretaries of State, Secretaries of State and heads of departments and sub-departments.
As a banking association, vdp supports the Lobbying Register’s goal of transparency in lobbyists’ dealings with the Bundestag and the Federal government.
“Such registration is important and necessary,” explained vdp’s Chief Executive, Jens Tolckmitt. “Transparency in lobbying is an inseparable part of the democratic process and is in our own best interests, as lobbyists. Transparency is also important because in and of itself, it has the ability to correct the occasionally inaccurate image of lobbying portrayed by the media, science and politics.”
In addition to registering, all affected organisations and their lobbyist employees must accept a code of conduct regarding lobbying.
Transparency must include lobbying by elected representatives
Nevertheless, the wording of the law does not yet go far enough for vdp:
“The starting point for the discussion about the Lobbying Register was the total lack of transparency regarding lobbying activities by people elected to the German Bundestag. Currently, such activities are not even covered by the Lobbying Register. While this is a good start, transparency will need to be expanded even further in the future,” emphasised Tolckmitt. “In particular, we still do not have provisions requiring disclosure of lobbying by MPs.”