Brussels agencies face pressure to disclose fees

Lobbyists could be obliged to reveal how much they are paid by clients, under controversial plans being discussed in Brussels.

As PRWeek went to press, proposals for a ‘European transparency initiative' were being finalised by EU Commissioner Siim Kallas.

Kallas is expected to call for a voluntary system in which all agencies taking part will have to disclose their clients via an online register.

It is understood that at least two draft versions of the initiative have been circulating in Brussels - one that includes an obligation for lobbyists to reveal their fees, and one that does not.

Michael Burrell, vice-chairman at Edelman Europe, said: ‘We as consultants are very happy with [the proposed register].

But many consultants - including me - would take the view that declaration of fees is disproportionate. It is asking us to breach commercial confidentiality for no good reason.'

He added that fee disclosure was likely to discourage agencies from taking part in the system.

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