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Germany to introduce lobbying register for MPs



BERLIN — Following a scandal over access to ministers, Germany’s governing coalition has agreed to introduce a transparency register that will require Bundestag members to declare any interests they represent.

Under the deal, announced Friday by junior coalition partner the Social Democrats (SPD), lawmakers failing to properly declare interests would be punished with fines. However, the details of sanctions are yet to be worked out. The register will be introduced after the summer break, the SPD said.

“We are sending an important signal for more transparency and for the regulation of lobbying in the Bundestag,” said Dirk Wiese, an SPD lawmaker who helped work out the deal with the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union.

In Brussels, the European Parliament and Commission operate a voluntary transparency register that has been in place since 2011.

Pressure for a comparable system in the Bundestag increased after a CDU lawmaker, Philipp Amthor, was accused of soliciting ministerial contacts for IT firm Augustus Intelligence, a company in which he had received stock options.

Amthor has said his engagement with the company was a “mistake.”



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