Mr. Stubb admitted that he has yet to decide on whether or not his report will recommend making the register compulsory, adding that he is "open to lobbying on that question". However, he stressed that "all lobbyists are created equal and have to be treated equally".
He outlined other key issues to be decided upon, including the extent of financial disclosure required, the precise definition of a lobbyist, the type of organisation to be included on the register, and whether there would be a common register for both Parliament and the Commission.
The Commission favours the inclusion of financial disclosure of lobbying activities in the transparency initiative, and yesterday Kallas called upon Parliament to back this plan.
Kallas also indicated that he favoured an interconnection between the two institutions' registers, as providing the same information twice would be "silly".
However, he added that the Commission already has a long list of participants for its own register and will proceed with one "for sure", whether or not an agreement can be reached with the Parliament.
Mr. Stubb warned that creating a common, mandatory register between the Parliament and the Commission, governed by a single code of conduct, may be impractical due to the "different procedures" used by each institution.
Despite this scepticism, he reflected that if it could be made to work in practice, then "it might not be such a bad idea after all".
He said that he was "open" on the question of whether the register should be voluntary or mandatory, and although sympathetic to a mandatory register, he said he was "not sure whether it will work in practice".
The Commission has said that upon its launch in March 2008, the system will be voluntary, but reiterated that this would be subject to a review after a period of one year.
If insufficient numbers of lobbyists had signed up after this time, then it would consider making the register mandatory in spring 2009 (EurActiv 05/09/07).
Meanwhile, concerns were raised that exempting legal firms working on state aid cases from the register for confidentiality reasons would result in lobbyists and consultancies attempting to reclassify themselves as legal firms.
Earlier, Kristian Schmidt, Kallas' deputy head of cabinet, said that a distinction will be made between lawyers' lobbying and legal-representation activities, which are covered by confidentiality. "If a law firm is representing a client in a cartel case or a client before the Court of Justice, obviously that work is not covered by the register, and we will say so very clearly", he said (EurActiv 05/09/07).