New hurdle for lobby register proposal

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A proposal to create a register that would list all lobbyists’ contact with Norwegian politicians has no support from the leadership of the Parliament, which has claimed that such a register would “raise the threshold” for contact with politicians.

“It mustn’t be that only those who have registered themselves can gain access to Members of Parliament,” the Parliament’s presidency stated in a written declaration. “A democratic and open society isn’t well-served by such a register.”

The register was proposed by members of the Liberal Party, among those who have sought a way of tracking lobbyists for years. The proposal will still go to a vote in Parliament, but is expected to be turned down.

“It’s disappointing,” Therese Manus Hønningstad, head of a Norwegian communications association, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). The proposal was supported by Norway’s national editors’ association (Redaktørforening), Transparency International Norge and the state Press Federation (Presseforbundet), all of whom argued that a register would make access to and communications with elected officials more visible, not less.

newsinenglish.no staff