Ironically, the Swedish furniture store Ikea has so far had the most searches for companies in the lobby register of the German Bundestag. In second place was Volkswagen, followed by the Federation of German Industries. Christian Heyer, who is responsible for the register at the Bundestag, could not make any sense of it in an initial balance sheet on Thursday. When it comes to search terms, auto/automotive industry, energy and cannabis came out on top.
The Bundestag administration is also surprised that of the 140,000 registered visits to the lobby register's website, only 53.8 percent come from Germany. 46.2 percent of the calls come from abroad, with interest in the Netherlands (11.3 percent) and Finland (10.7 percent) being particularly high. But the site was also accessed from Russia and China. According to the information, there are only 23 comparable registers worldwide.
The lobby register has been maintained on the German Bundestag's website since the beginning of the year. It is intended to make visible who is influencing political decisions and legislation. Professional stakeholders must register there. Among other things, they must provide information about their clients and subject areas as well as the personnel and financial costs of their lobbying activities in the Bundestag and the Federal Government. Lobbyists are obliged to adhere to a specified code of conduct. Violations of this can result in a fine of up to 50,000 euros.
Almost 5,100 companies, associations, organizations, networks, individuals and others have now registered in the register. The number of named employees who represent interests directly is around 12,600.
An administrative offense procedure could soon threaten companies that have been named as clients by lobbyists but have not registered themselves in the register, which is what they are obliged to do. According to Heyer, this is being closely monitored.