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Germany enacts new federal lobbying law and mandatory register

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Dr Udo Herbert Olgemöller

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29 March 2021

On 25 and 26 March 2021, the two chambers of the German parliament – the Bundestag and the Bundesrat – approved the Federal Act on the Introduction of a Register on Lobbying at the German Bundestag and the Federal Government (German Federal Lobbying Act). It seeks to increase transparency with regards to those individuals and organisations influencing the government decision making process in Berlin.

A mandatory register for lobbyists overseen by the President of the German Bundestag is at the core of the new rules. The German Federal Lobbying Act will enter into force on 1 January 2022 and registration must be completed by 28 February 2022. This new legislation follows other efforts to increase transparency following various recent political scandals. Companies and investors should take note of the new rules, including from an Environmental Social Governance (ESG) perspective.

Key points/15 seconds read/Summary

With effect as of 1 January 2022, lobbying at the German Bundestag and at the German federal government will be subject to a mandatory registration and transparency regime. Non-compliance may trigger fines and exclusion from political decision-making processes. Like the latest efforts to enact a German Supply Chain Act, the German Lobbying Act underlines the trend towards strengthening legislation focused on the public interest.

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