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It seems it's perfectly legal in Germany for parliamentarians to have their trips sponsored by a foreign country. And likewise for more run-of-the-mill influencers, e.g. rally organizers.

So, I'm guessing there's no US-style (and more rencelty, also Russian-style) registration requirement and self-disclosure for such financing, for people involved in politics or influencing operations? Any proposals/discussions to have something like that enacted? Or is something like that a non-starter in Germany?

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    Well, it looks like the AfD is proposing something like that, in order to counter American influence, which they see as excessive correctiv.org/aktuelles/neue-rechte/2022/11/23/… But the AfD propsal seems targeted exclusively at NGOs. Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 14:25
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    There are laws that members of parliament have to publically disclose any income above some financial threshhold and I would assume a paid trip to a foreign country would count here. However this only says they have to disclose that they received the money, it doesn't prefent them from taking it.
    – quarague
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 16:23

1 Answer 1

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Since Jan. 1st 2022 Germany has a "Lobby Register", where people and organisations have to register if they want to influence members of parliament or government officials on their own behalf or in a role as professional consultant to a third party. This applies to domestic persons and organizations as well as persons and organizations from other states (there are a few exceptions, e.g. for humanitarian organizations without a permanent address in Germany, details see the "Lobbyregistergesetz" (German)).

As far as I can tell, this is a lot less draconian regime than the US and Russian laws (failing to register carries a maximum fine of 20 000 Euro rather than getting the organization in question banned or anything like it), but it is the closest thing I could find.

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  • Do you mean a it is a misdemeanor rather then a felony? A misdemeanor is still punishable by the law.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 16:51
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    @JoeW that is probably what I mean :-). Legal action is limited to paying a fine. Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 16:52
  • Well from what I see that isn't the case as you can still serve time or get other penalties there is just an upper limit on what they can be.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 16:55
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    @JoeW I was trying to translate the German "Ordnungswidrigkeit", which means there is a fine, but you cannot get jailed or otherwise sanctioned. Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 16:57

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