World SPD satisfied with coalition agreement on lobby register

12:15  03 march  2021
12:15  03 march  2021 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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The SPD is satisfied with the coalition agreement on the introduction of a lobby register. In the future, contacts to interest representatives must also be displayed in the ministries down to the level of sub-department heads, as SPD parliamentary group vice Dirk Wiese said on Wednesday in Berlin. The Union initially only wanted to apply this to ministers and state secretaries.

Die Koalition einigt sich auf ein Lobbyregister © David GANNON The coalition agrees on a lobby register

"We persisted, it paid off," said Wiese. It is a "good day for more transparency". The case of the CSU politician Georg Nüßlein, who is suspected of being corrupt, led to "hectic activity" in the Union, stressed Wiese. Nüßlein is suspected of having brokered contacts with various ministries on behalf of a manufacturer of face masks for a commission.

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The agreement reached after a long struggle was announced on Tuesday evening. In future, professional interest representatives will have to register in a register that will be kept at the Bundestag and that should be publicly accessible. Violations should be punishable by a fine of up to 50,000 euros.

The statutory registration obligation should also apply to the representation of interests vis-à-vis members of parliament, parliamentary groups and the federal government. In future, professional interest representatives would have to register in the register before contacting them and provide information about their employer or client, the number of employees and financial expenses.

The AFP news agency learned from coalition circles that the draft law will be "passed promptly in the German Bundestag". The introduction of a lobby register has been discussed for a long time. In the summer of 2020, the public outrage over the case of the CDU politician Philipp Amthor contributed to the fact that the Union agreed to the project in principle after long hesitation. The details remained controversial until the agreement was reached on Tuesday evening.

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