© Diana Hoffmann / RTL
On Monday, the Pirate Party gave a press conference to criticise the transparency register for failing to require pertinent details about meetings between MPs and interest groups.
The register is based on a draft law that MP Sven Clement filed at the end of 2019. However, according to the Pirate, both the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) and the Democratic Party (DP) have reduced the proposed register to a bare minimum in terms of disclosed information.
MPs have now been obliged to report meetings with interest groups for a little over a year. Nevertheless, most still fail to do so, stated Pirate spokesperson Jerry Weyer during Monday's press conference. He further noted that, aside from their own MPs, only those from the Greens register all of their meetings.
At present, the transparency register only requires the name, the judicial form, and the name of the third party represented at the meeting. The Pirate Party argues that both the goals and the budget of lobbyists should also be recorded so that citizens are actually able to determine potential impacts on the decision-making process.
The Pirates further criticised that even meetings in the Chamber of Deputies have not been registered at times. Spokespeople citied Amnesty International and the Red Cross as undisclosed examples.
MP Clement emphasised that lobbying does not necessarily have to be a bad thing and that it is warranted for MPs to collect information from different sides. However, this process should be recorded to increase transparency vis-à-vis the population. He therefore stressed that MPs also have to encourage interest groups to register their names ahead of meetings.