On February 28 2005, CEO's Erik Wesselius and Olivier Hoedeman met with European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas (responsible for Administrative Affairs) to discuss options for improved EU transparency and ethics regulation around lobbying. Also present at the meeting were Jens Nymand-Christensen (European Commission Director for Relations with Civil Society) and Kristian Schmidt (Deputy Head of Mr. Kallas' cabinet).
Commissioner Kallas invited CEO to introduce some of the options for EU lobbying disclosure and ethics legislation. CEO emphasised the importance of registration and reporting obligations and that reports should be available to the public via a fully searchable database on the internet.
Mr. Kallas explained that the European Commission is studying the possibilities for clarifying the current situation, including what can be learned from the US legislation. Key questions include the definition of lobbying, what should be reported and how to enforce reporting obligations.
Commissioner Kallas concluded that more discussion is needed to determine what is the most effective approach and that the first step should be to "get the full picture of the landscape". Kallas announced that he will launch an initiative during a speech in Nottingham on March 3rd.