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Transparency Register: the Negotiation between Three Different Views of Lobbyists' Legitimacy

Isabel de Castro Asarta

The European Parliament and the European Commission have recently decided to merge their respective lobby registers in order to enhance transparency. The negotiations have as result a more stringent, but still friendly framework for stakeholders and organisations participating in EU policy making. The third legislative institution, the Council of the European Union, which had no register before and which has historically maintained a denial attitude towards lobbying, has shown a change of policy in the last few weeks: instead of neglecting the need of such a control in the Council, it now seems openly willing to participate in the project and, eventually, to join the register. Even if the negotiations are still open, there is already evidence available to support the thesis of this paper: Each of the three institutions has embedded a different approach to lobbyists' legitimacy to participate in the decision making process, which is shaping the negotiations around the Transparency Register, starting, for example, by its very name. Moreover, these different legitimacy approaches have their roots in the three different ways of perceiving and understanding democracy that each institution presents and that revolve around different versions of Liberal-Representative and Republicanism-Participatory Democracy.



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