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Monday, 21 March 2022

Scientific advice is not lobbying! \ Peace researchers demand the amendment of the German law on the lobby register in a petition

The law on the lobby register passed by the German Bundestag stipulates that researchers and research institutions advising members of the Bundestag on the basis of their expertise must also be entered in the register. Leading researchers at BICC (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies) consider this to be a fatal mistake. In a Bundestag petition, they are, therefore, calling for the law to be amended.

"While appreciating the necessity of introducing a lobby register, researchers and research institutions (universities, non-university research institutions and their associations, as well as donors) must be explicitly exempted from registration in the lobby register of the Bundestag," is the core demand of the petition by Professor Dr Conrad Schetter, Director at BICC, and Dr Marc von Boemcken, Head of Research at BICC.

Conrad Schetter considers the step of labelling researchers and their institutions as lobbyists across the board to be extremely problematic, also with reference to the international discussion on "alternative facts": "At a time when a part of society sees science and research only as a form of 'opinion making', the German Bundestag joins a discourse that is dangerous for democracy and open society when it classifies research-based advice as 'lobbying'."

The petition "Amendment of the Lobby Register Act of 24.02.2022" can be found at https://epetitionen.bundestag.de/content/petitionen/_2022/_02/_24/Petition_131126.html and can be signed there until 14 April 2022.

Press release "Wissenschaftliche Beratung ist kein Lobbyismus! \ Friedensforscher fordern in einer Petition die Nachbesserung des Gesetzes zum Lobbyregister" (pdf, in German)