Spanish govt proposes rules for lobbyists, public officials

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Council of Ministers presented a law Tuesday to increase the transparency of interactions between public officials and lobbyists.

Officials involved in any stage of policymaking would have to report their meetings with representatives of companies or groups that hoped to influence governmental decisions.

Lobbyists would need to enroll in a new electronic registry of interest groups to carry out any encounters with any members of the government. Political parties and labor unions would be exempt from this obligation.

The proposed bill also would require high-ranking officials to wait at least two years after leaving government service to engage in lobbying activities related to matters they had worked on.

A similar regulation for senators and lawmakers in the Congress of Deputies is currently working its way through Spain’s parliament.

France and Germany passed similar legislation to establish mandatory lobbyist registries in 2018 and January of this year, respectively.

Spain’s proposed law is set for public hearings before it goes to parliament for approval.

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