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Lobbying in Romania - English Version - Aurelian Horja


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  • 1. Lobby în România Studiu independentLOBBYINGIN ROMANIA January 2012 Independent Reseach The results of this research offer a realistic picture of lobbying inAuthors:Dr. Dana Oancea Romania, for the first time mirroring lobbyists, decision makers andLiviu Mihăileanu publics opinion altogether. The results can be used as reference forAurelian Horja the strategy of lobbying organisations and political decision makers.Study conducted byForum for International Communications,through the resource portal with the support of
  • 2. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentTable of ContentsPreamble.................................................................................................................... 2Methodology .............................................................................................................. 4Executive Summary .................................................................................................... 6Public Perception ....................................................................................................... 7Who’s lobbying in Romania? ...................................................................................... 9 The portret of the Romanian lobbyist ................................................................................................. 12How is lobbying done in Romania? ........................................................................... 13 Easy or difficult? .................................................................................................................................. 13 The tools used by lobbyists ................................................................................................................. 14 Proactive or reactive? ......................................................................................................................... 19 The politicians opinion ....................................................................................................................... 20With or without a lobbying law? ............................................................................... 24Conclusions ............................................................................................................. 29About the authors ................................................................................................... 31 To quote this research you may use: Oancea D., Mihăileanu L., Horja A. – „Lobbying in Romania”, Forum for International Communications, 2012 © Forum for International Communications 2
  • 3. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentPreamble Over the years, the lobbyists were mentioning during public events and in the media thatLET’S TALK ABOUT LOBBY! IN ROMANIAN! there are not more lobbyists in Romania than can be countedIn Romania, lobbying is nothing new, but discussion about on the fingers of one hand. Itpoliticians meetings with representatives of organisations is easy to conclude that in Ro-interested in influencing public policy are constantly mania lobbying is not quiteavoided. active and there is not muchOften have such meetings led to legal changes, but any influence to legislators, but isreference to this aspect gets negative connotations this true? Are there other play-following the media exposure of influence peddling cases. ers involved besides the fewIllicit influencing activities are wrongly or biased labeled aslobbying, conferring a negativ aura to a field which should companies or persons whichnormally actively contribute to the democratic exercise of a are lobbying on behalf of thirdstate. parties?The regulation, one way or the other, of lobbying risessuspicion among all players (public opinion, companiesNGOs and politicians). Therefore none of the seven projects By the depth of this researchstarted until now hasnt made it to the publication in form addressing all players involvedof a legal regulation in the Official Journal. in lobbying in Romania and theOn the other hand an autoregulation initiative has proved fact that it is completed withto have an extremely small group of sustainers, lobbying data collected together withand its tools still remain in a cone of shadow. GfK Romania at the level ofIn public speaches it’s also mentioned that the lack of a general population, we con-lobbying law is exactly what those lobbying in Romania sider that lobbying now bene-wish, as well as their clients, and some politicians. But is itreally like this? fits in Romania of a solid analysis, useful both to lobby-Here are only some examples of uncertainty which calledfor conducting this complex research meant to analyse ists in order to improve theirlobbying from various angles and attract as many views of activities and to decision mak-those really and directly involved in this activity. ers for a better knowledge of peoples perception and those who wish to influence them in their daily activity. 3 2 © Forum for International Communications
  • 4. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentTHE BENEFITS OF THIS RESEARCH This initiative repre- sents a premiere, be- cause it sums up the opinions of top manag- ers in large companies, of communication and public affairs special-Until now there has been no extended knowledge of Romanian ists, representatives oflobby activities. Only scarce of information about the players of this corporate foundations,industry were presented, but the mechanisms or concrete tools, NGOs and the wholesuccessfull approaches as well as shortcomings and errors of locallobbying were not known. array of active political representatives.Another problem was the lack of shared experience concerning best Their opinions arepractice among lobbyists or preferences and attitudes of politicians compared against thetowards lobbyists and vice versa. The results of the public opinion public perception,survey offer arguments for an objective approach of political decisionmakers and a good opportunity to educate the public concerning bringing into discus-lobbying. sion the third elementThe results of this research allow thus for the first time a realistic of lobbying: the popu-picture of Romanian lobbying activities and can be used as reference in lation which is affectedthe strategy of any lobbying organisation, but also by political decision by influenced deci-makers for a better assessment of this activity. Following the fact that sions. This third di-together with GfK Romania we realised a national survey onrepresentative samples of urban population over 15 years old, we mension, as well as thecould integrate in the present study an analysis of the public right of the public toperception concerning the Romanian lobbying activities, essential information werent un-element both for lobbyist and for politicians. til now present in re-The study was conducted by the Foundation “Forum for International search or debates con-Communications” through the portal PR Romania, with support from cerning lobbying inGfK Romania for the national survey of public perception. Romania.Research team: Dr. Dana Oancea, Aurelian Horja and Liviu Mihăileanu.The costs to perform this research were totally covered by its initiators(the implementation of the component "vox populi" together with GfKRomania) and there were no material benefits following thepublication of this research. 4 3 © Forum for International Communications
  • 5. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentMethodologyThe research aimed to cover a 360 online survey of 15 open and closeddegrees angle of the lobbying activities in questions to which 119 respondentsRomania and as a consequence the answered, 94% of them having university orsurveys were aimed to reach all its three post-graduate studies.dimensions: the population affecteddirectly or indirectly by lobbying activities(vox populi), the initiatiors (lobbyists) and Second Dimension: thedecision makers (politicians). Lobbyists For surveying this dimension, online questionnaires with 29 open and closedFirst Dimension: Vox Populi questions were used. They aimed to exploreTheir opinion was considered to be the perception, the techniques used andimportant because of two reasons. On the their efficiency, the opinion on theone hand because lobbying affects them regulation by a lobbying law anddirectly and on the demographicother hand because dynamics of thepoliticians are very respondents.reluctant when it The study is based on The results of thiscomes to lobbying, answers from 865 respondents, dimension werebeing afraid of based on apeoples opinion or representative sample for the three number of 137of the associationwith an unpopular dimensions explored. respondents, top representatives ofinitiative among NGOs andelectors. national andTwo types of analyses were implemented, multinational companies which are lobbyingthe first one based on specific perception on their own account, covering a large arrayquestions of the term and on opinions of activity fields, from banks orconcerning the effects and motivation of a pharmaceutical companies to agriculturalpossible law, the survey being conducted by producers, from law firms to lobbyingGfK Romania on a sample of 574 agencies.respondents, nationally representative From this dimension, an important sectionsample for the urban population over 15 was that of non-profit organisations -years old. The interviews were conducted extremely well represented - whichface to face at respondents homes. determined us to realise comparative analyses between NGOs opinions andThe second analysis was more specific and companies opinions.expored the perception on the means,effects and necessity of regulation by law oflobbying activities and it was based on an 2 4 © Forum for International Communications
  • 6. Lobby în România Studiu independentThird dimension: the PoliticiansIn order to survey the opinion and the The results are based on 35 respondents,perception of politicians, we invited the both senators and deputies, many of thecurrently active decision makers to questioned refusing to participate in theparticipate in this research (e.g. senators, study because of various reasons, amongdeputies etc.) which "the sensitivity of the matter", even if they were ensured that the answers areThe questioning was conducted with an confidential and that they will be presentedonline form with 14 open and closed in an aggregate manner. Many politiciansquestions which surveyed the perception on declared that "this profession doesnt existlobbying, information channels they use and yet in Romania" and that "stating an opinionan estimation of efficiency of the efforts in this field is not suitable as long as the fieldinvested by lobbyists. doesnt exist".The questions were formulated so that theanswers could be mirrored against the othertwo dimensions of this research. 5
  • 7. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentExecutive SummaryPUBLIC PERCEPTION HOW ARE ORGANISATIONS LOBBYING IN ROMANIA?Only 1.2 % of respondents to the "voxpopuli" dimension associated the term The general behaviour of lobbyists is a“lobbying” to "influence peddling", which reactive one, to correct or improve decisionscontradicts the hypothesis of such an already taken. Nevertheless NGOs are betterequivalation in populations perception. 95% prepared than companies, 37% haveconsider that lobbying is beneficial for the proactive lobbying activities, compared tosociety and 88.3% consider that lobbying is 22.7% in case of, which indicated a discrepancybetween public opinion and its perception 7% of NGOs and 3% of companies haveby politicians or media in general. declared that they always succeeded in their endeavour to change the legislation.Concerning the main negative aspects oflobbying, 50.4% consider that there are nonegative aspects, while 30.2% identify theprevalence of group interests to the LOBBYING REGULATIONdetriment of public interest. 82% of companies, 100% of NGOs and 100%WHO’S LOBBYING IN ROMANIA? of politicians have declared that lobbying needs to be regulated by law, whichThe Romanian lobbyist is between 36 and 45 contradicts the hypothesis that a regulationyears old, is a woman and has accumulated of these activities is not desired. The almostbetween 1 and 5 years of experience in this unanimous opinion also reflects among thefield. The majority (52.4%) represents survey "vox populi" with a percent of 93%.organisations which have less than 20 Contrary to the fears of politiciansemployees. concerning the public opinion, the percentAmong those who declared being involved in which considers lobbying to be legal is thelobbying, NGOs rank on the 1st place with majority (88%) only 12% consider lobbying38%, followed by multinational companies to be illegal.(29%). Only 4% of the responders werelobbying agencies declaring to lobby onbehalf of third parties. This contradicts theopinion that there are only a few companieslobbying in Romania. © Forum for International Communications 6
  • 8. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentPublic perceptionWithin the survey conducted by GfK Romania, 67.5% of respondents couldnt associate anything tothe term of lobbying. A scarce of knowledge on this activity among general population is to benoticed, only 6% of the interviewed understanding the term “lobbying” as an attempt to legallyinfluence the decision of an authority. Meaning of the term "Lobby" First mention All mentions (%) (%) To promote 9,7 11,2 To influence a decision /a person/authority 6,0 7,3 To grant a favour for profit 3,8 4,1 To sustain a cause/idea 3,6 4,3 Influence peddling 1,2 1,5 Bribe / fraude 0,8 0,9 Political action (parliament/senators) 0,9 0,9 Other 6,6 7,6 I dont know/ No answer 67,5 67,5Note: The operators were instructed to register the spontaneous answer, without suggesting any options. The majority of spontaneous answers showed that Romanians understand lobby as "promotion"(9.7%), "influencing a decision/person/authority" (6.0%), "granting a favour for profit" (3.8%),"sustaining a cause/idea" (3.6%) while 1.2% associated the term traffic to "influence peddling". Sur-prisingly, only 1.2% associated the term lobby with "influence peddling", which con-tradicts the hypothesis of such an equivalent in populations perception.Concerning the perception on lobbying, 95% consider that lobbying is beneficial to society and 88,3%considers that this activity is legal, which indicates a discrepancy between public opinion andsuppositions made by different actors or media in general.The main positive aspects of lobby activity are considered Do you think lobbying isto be: beneficial to the society?  improving transparency of decision making and No active participation of civil society in decision 5% making process (68.1%).  improving adopted decisions by professional provision of information to decision makers (59.7%)  change of mindset in approaching the relationships between decision issuers and the addressees of decisions (54.2%) Yes 95%  transparency of information concerning the ones supporting or not a certain issue, why he/she is supporting it and how this affects population (52.1%). © Forum for International Communications 7
  • 9. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independent Positive aspects of lobbying 68,1% 59,7% 52,1% 53,8% 52,1% 41,2% 25,2% 4,2% Improves Offers Raises the Ease of Change in Free statistics Encouraging „a Other decisions information on quality of implementation mentality and public second opinion” transparency who supports a decisions by as a result of considering the opinion which can avoid and actively certain issue, professional raising interest relationship measurement a wrong contributes to why and how supply of of an issue between decision decision this affects the information to before decision decision makers making society decision makers making and societyConcerning the main negative aspects of lobbying, 50.4% of respondents to the "vox populi"survey considers that there are no negative aspects, 30,2% identify the prevalence of groupinterests as opposed to public interest and only 17.7% considers that lobby can be associated tocorruption aspects (bribing activities, influence peddling).Nevertheless, when Negative aspects of lobbyingasked about theiropinion concerning Otherthe indigenous 2%practice of influencing Can belegislation, an associated to corruptionimportant percent of 18%56.7% declares that in No negativereality no lobby is aspectsconducted, but rather 50%influence peddling orbribe being offered tochange legislation.This fact shows thatpopulation makes thedifference between Prevalence of group intereststhe two activities as opposed tosupposed to be public interest 30%confused. © Forum for International Communications 8
  • 10. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentMoreover the population identifies a series of tools used by lobbyists in the influencing activity,among which the participation in public debates are counted (identified by 46.2% of therespondents), legislative monitoring (37.0%), providing studies and social arguments directly todecision makers (44.5%) or establishing coalitions (39.5%). How do you think lobbying is conducted in Romania? % Legislative monitoring 37,0% Providing studies and social arguments directly to decision makers 44,5% Participating in public debates 46,2% Political contributions 34,5% Establishing coalitions 39,5% Protest meetings and street manifestations 26,1% I think that, in general, influence peddling is done or bribe is being offered to 56,3% change legislationWho’s lobbying in Romania?Among those directly involved in lobby activities NGOs rank first with 38%, followed bymultinational companies (29%) only 4% being specialised companies conducting lobby activitiesin the of and for third parties. This contradicts the opinion the there are only some lobbycompanies or agencies in Romania. Who do you represent? 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% A NGOs A company A law cabinet A lobbying A company / A A public multinational with cabinet agency / professional service / company with Romanian representing media trust association / education offices in capital third parties lobbying employers institution Romania lobbying for association its own lobbying for a group of companies © Forum for International Communications 9
  • 11. Lobby în România Studiu independentMost NGOs involved in lobby activities are Who do you think is lobbying inactive in social services (27.7 %), education Romania?(19.1 %), fundamental rights and health(both 14.9 %) alongside environmentalprotection (12.8 %). Corporate foundationsAmong companies involved in lobbyactivities, the majority are law firms or legal Individuals lobbying forconsultancies (12%), followed by players third partiesfrom the banking field and agencies offeringlobby and public affairs services (10.7%) and Companies / agencies /companies from the energy sector or media agenciespharmaceutical products (8%). Lobbying cabinetsIt should be noted that the population representing third partiesconsiders that lobby activities are mainlyconducted by NGOs or representatives ofprofessional associations / employers Law cabinetsorganisations. Companies specialising inlobby rank third and legal firms only reach Companies with Romanianthe seventh place. capital lobbying for their own Multinational companiesWhich is the field of activity %of the companies? Professional associations /Law firms / Legal consultancies 12.0% employers associationsFinancial and bank services 10.7% lobbying for a group ofLobby / Public Affairs consultancy 10.7% companiesEnergy 8.0%Pharmaceutical products 8.0% NGOsAudit and business consultancy 8.0%Telecommunications and IT 6.7% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%Consumer goods 6.7%Public Relations 6.7%Media 5.3%Agriculture 4.0% In which field of activity do %Financial non-banking services 2.7% the NGOs operate?Exploiting natural resources 2.7% Social services 27,7%Retail 2.7% Education 19,1%Transportation 1.3% Fundamental rights 14,9%Tourism 1.3% Health 14,9%Alcoholic beverages 1.3% Environment protection 12,8%Real estate 1.3% Youth 2,1% Sexual minorities 2,1% Religious minorities 2,1% Ethnic minorities 2,1% Religion 2,1% 10
  • 12. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentWho do lobbying cabinets, conducting lobby for third parties represent? Activity field of companies %Specialised companies have conductedmost of their lobby activities for Pharmaceutical products 14,5%multinational companies (55.2 %) and the Telecommunications and IT 14,5%least for NGOs and employers’ Consumer goods 14,5%organisations (6.9%). Financial banking services 10,9% Energy 9,1% Utilities and public services 5,5%For which sectors have you % Retail 5,5%conducted the most lobby Alcoholic beverages 5,5% Car producers and distributors 3,6%activities? Non-banking financial services 3,6%Multinational companies 55,2% Agriculture 3,6%Companies with Romanian 27,6%majority share capital Exploitation of natural resources 3,6%NGOs 6,9% Tobacco 3,6%Employers organisations 6,9% Others 1,8%Others 3,4%Most companies represented by lobbyingcabinets activate in the field ofpharmaceutical products, of Activity field of NGOs %telecommunications and IT and consumergoods (with an individual share of 14.5%)followed by the fields of financial banking Education 28,6%services (10.9%) and energy (9.1%). Environmental protection 17,9% Fundamental rights 14,3%Most NGOs represented by third parties Youth 10,7%were from the field of education and Consumer rights 10,7%environmental protection (summarising Ethnic minorities 3,6%46.5%) followed by fundamental rights Health 3,6% Others 10,7%(14.3%). © Forum for International Communications 11
  • 13. Lobby în România Studiu independentThe portret of the Romanian lobbyist Age of the Romanian lobbyists The Romanian lobbyist is 36 to 45 years of age, a 50,0% woman and has between 40,0% 1 and 5 years experience 30,0% in the field. The majority 20,0% (52.4%) represent organi- 10,0% 0,0% sations with less than 20 Under 25 25-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 Over 65 employees. years years years years years years The gender of the Romanian The experience of the lobbyist Romanian lobbyist Over 15 11-15 years years 10% 9% Male Female 48% 1-5 years 52% 52% 6-10 years 29% Size of the organisations the Romanian lobbyists are working for 30,0% 25,0% 20,0% 15,0% 10,0% 5,0% 0,0% 1-9 10-20 21-50 51-100 101-250 251-500 Over 500 employees employees employees employees employees employees employees 12
  • 14. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentHow is lobbying done in Romania?EASY OR DIFFICULT?43% of companies and 39% of NGOs never managed to trigger legislative changes and only 11%of companies and 10% of NGOs have managed to trigger legislative changes in more than 50% ofthe cases. Interestingly enough there is a 7% among NGOs and 3% among companies claimingthey have always manages in their effort to change legislation. Have you managed to trigger How difficult was it to contact legislative changes? the decision makers? Always Very easy In over 50% of initiatives In 30-50% of initiatives Easy In less than 30% of initiatives With some success Never 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Dificult NGOs CompaniesAmong the main problems NGOs faced Very difficultwere the following:  finding contact data; 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%  access decision makers; NGOs Companies  establishing a direct meeting;  identifying decision makers;  lack of availability; Concerning the contact with decision  getting attention; makers, 23% of the companies claimed it  bureaucracy was very difficult to establish such a contactThe main problems companies faced were while only 10% of NGOs claimed the samethe following: thing. Only 7% of NGOs and 12% of companies declared that this process was  finding contact data; easy or very easy, which accounts for either  establishing a meeting; the incapacity of those whising to change  identifying decision makers; legislation or for the lack of availability of  lack of availability. decision makers. © Forum for International Communications 13
  • 15. Lobby în România Studiu independentTHE TOOLS USED BY LOBBYISTSAmong all tools used frequently by This index aligns to the other results of thelobbyists, the legislative monitorung is study, showing the manifestation of asomewhere in the middle field, both among reactive lobby behaviour.persuasion tools ranking and the perception Regarding the use of persuasion tools forof its afficience. decision makers, the study indicates a majorAlthough monitoring can identify trends or resemblance between the practice ofchanges intended by decision makers can be companies and NGOs but also twodiscovered in due time, this is neither important differences from the point ofignored nor identified as a major success view of the approach of certain protestfactor. types. Frequently used lobbying tools 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Legislative Delivering Participation Political Building Protest Organising Legal Others monitoring studies and in public contributions coalitions meetings and educational proceedings social debates street events events for arguments to decision decision makers makers Companies NGOsAlthough both types are used moderatly, companies are much more inclined to start legalproceedings (14% as opposed to 4% for NGOs) should the initial proceedings not favour their setobjectives.NGOs use as persuasion tool protest meetings (15%) benefitting evidently both from theirvoluntary network, from attracting public goodwill and attention and from the media by meansof previous advocacy campaigns. 14
  • 16. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentCompanies dont use this protest type at all, the approach rising most probably from thedifferences in organizational structures, but also deriving from financial strength or measuringeffects against time.We also note quite a big difference between the NGO preference to build coalitions in order toattain a goal (33%) as opposed to companies which indicate this preference only in 14% of cases. Delivering studies and social arguments directly to decision makers is the tool preferred by 76% of the companies and 63% of NGOs, followed by the organisation of educational events for decision makers (48% companies and 52% NGOs), and ranking third, with nearly equal figures the participation in public debates (48 % for both companies and NGOs). When asked about the efficiency of tools used however, the results show a rupture, indicating a different order between reality and current practice.Companies consider political contributions as being the main efficient persuasion tool (60%)followed by building coalitions and participation in public debates (25%), while initiating legalproceedings ranks last with 5%. Activities considered % Activities considered to be % efficient by companies efficient by NGOs Organising educational events for 44.4% Legislative monitoring 20.0% decision makers Delivering studies and social 15.0% Initiating legal proceedings (court of 3.7% arguments directly to decision law) makers Legislative monitoring 25.9% Participation in public debates 25.0% Delivering studies and social 70.4% Political contributions 60.0% arguments directly to decision makers (impact studies, social Building coalitions 25.0% arguments, feasability studies etc.) Protest meetings and street 15.0% Participation in public debates 25.9% events Political contributions 14.8% Organising educational events 15.0% for decision makers Building coalitions 33.3% Initiating legal proceedings 5.0% Supporting the arguments by 7.4% (court of law) protest meetings and street events Others 5.0% Others 11.1% © Forum for International Communications 15
  • 17. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentFor NGOs the main efficient persuasion tool is the delivery of studies and social argumentsdirectly to decision makers (70.4%), followed by organising educational events for decisionmakers (44.4%) and building coalitions (33%). Also in the case of NGOs initiating legal proceedingranks last in terms of efficiency (3,4%). Did decision makers take into What do Companies NGOs account your actions? lobbyists think that it determins decision makers to listen to their point of view? Always The fact that they are 63,6% 63,0% tranparent regarding the interests they are In over 50% of cases representing The fact that they are 63,6% 55,6% considered experts in In 30-50% of cases the respective field The fact that theyre 36,4% 48,1% well preparedIn less than 30% of cases Financial/social 31,8% 18,5% strength of the institution Never Notoriety (public 31,8% 51,9% perception) The force of 31,8% 29,6% 0% 20% 40% 60% coalitions or interest groups they represent NGOs Companies Others 4,5% 7,4%The reaction of decision makers before these persuasion tools is important, but in most casesthis is rather reluctant, 68% of companies and 78% of NGOs saying that decision makers do nottake at all into account the proceedings to modify legislation or do so in less than 50% of thecases.Nevertheless 9% of companies and 4% of legislation are well prepared play a role withNGOs have said that decision makers take a surprising last place for the criterion ofinto account their proceedings to modify financial or social strength of the repre-legislation and 19% of NGOs and 23% of sented institution.companies declared that this happens in In exchange, when lobbyists talk about theover 50% of the cases. reasons which in their opinion lead to deci-The main secrets of success in the opinion of sion makers ignoring their arguments, thelobbyists (companies and NGOs) to make ranking is led by a far too important finan-decision makers listen to their point of view cial or social strength, which indicates that,are transparency concerning the interests although not an essential success factor, thisthey represent and the fact that they are type of power being an "access" factor forexperts in the respective field. Although the attention of decision makers.with different percentages also notorietyand the fact that those wishing to influence © Forum for International Communications 16
  • 18. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentOther obstacles for companies in persuading demonstrates the principles of persuasiondecision makers are the lack of their (knowledge). For NGOs, the secondarypresence in a stronger coalition, the fact obstacles are the same: the absence from athat others have better arguments or that stronger coalition and the lack of notorietythey are not personally acquainted with the or lack of recognition of lobbyists beingdecision makers, which actually experts in their field of action.What do lobbyists consider to determine decision Companies NGOsmakers to ignore their point of view?Others have better arguments 22,7% 2,2%They are not recognised as experts in the respective field 9,1% 10,9%They dont know the legislation sufficiently well 0,0% 4,3%They are not acquainted with the decision maker 22,7% 10,9%Sometimes they tend to be too aggressive in approaching the 4,5% 0,0%problemI dont represent a strong enough financial or social power 31,8% 23,9%I lack notoriety (public perception) 4,5% 13,0%Usually I am not part of a stronger coalition 31,8% 13,0%Others 18,2% 21,7%Among “other answers”: a great part of decision makers do not know the real face of lobby activity and interpret it erroneously; comfortableness of decision makers; political factors; subjectivity, indifference, bluntness, lack of political culture.Regarding lobbyists preferences to address Regarding the wrapping of arguments anddecision makers in order to provide transmitting them the following areinformation, 73% of companies and 48% of preferred:NGOs prefer the direct approach, while 27% face to face meetings (59% of com-of companies and 44% of NGOs prefer to panies and 40% of NGOs)approach a member of the cabinet and 8%of NGOs address decision makers through sending letters by e-mail or couriercolleagues, method which is not used at all (40% of NGOs and 23% of compa-by companies. nies) Transmitting information within conferences or lectures is preferred by only 14% of companies and 18% of NGOs, while transmitting in- formation through media, receptions or social events is almost ab- sent. © Forum for International Communications 17
  • 19. Lobby în România Studiu independent Who do lobbyists approach The most important channel when they want to offer lobbyists send their information? information to decision makers Others Colleagues of the Receptions and social decision maker with the events request to supply the information indirectly Media A member of their Organising conferences cabinet and seminaries at which they are invited Sending information in Directly decision writing, through e-mail makers or courier Face to face meetings 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% NGOs Companies NGOs CompaniesRegarding human resources both companies (53%), but mostly NGOs (74%) prefer to prevalentlyuse internal specialists for lobby activities. Altough in case of companies the percent can beconsidered balanced considering the fact that 43% use specialised companies/agencies orpersonal from outside the organisation. When lobbying, you work mainly with: Internal lobbyists Specialised companies/agencies or personal from outside the organisation 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Specialised companies/agencies or personal from Internal lobbyists outside the organisation NGOs 26% 74% Companies 43% 57%When it comes to specialised external services 59 % of companies prefer the monitoring services(media 59% and legislative 53%), impact studies (41%), legal services (35%) and only 24%purchase specialised communications services, the same percent applying for sociology studies.On the last place rank feasability studies with 18%. 18
  • 20. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independent What kind of services you use to purchase? 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Legislative Media Legal services Sociology Feasibility Impact studies Communication Others monitoring monitoring studies studies consultancy Companies NGOsThe list of services purchased by NGOs is quite different, with sociology studies leading theranking (48%) being followed by legal services and media monitoring, both with 33%. Furtherdown rank communication consultancy and impact studies with 24% and legislative monitoringon the penultimate position with 19%. Feasibility studies are the least interesting, gathering only10%.PROACTIVE OR REACTIVE? Motivation of lobbyists Companies NGOs To propose a law that doesnt exist yet, but which would be 22.7% 37.0% beneficial to those represented To avoid a possible future problem or to offer a suitable direction 31.8% 33.3% of a law appropriate to our interests (there already is an initiative, but no decision has been adopted yet) To correct or improve a decision that has already been adopted 45.5% 29.6% (after a decision has been adopted)Unfortunately Romanian companies initiate Surprisingly NGOs are again betterin 45,5% of the cases lobby actions only prepared, the order being exactly reverse,after a decision has been adopted, in order most organisations (37%) having proactiveto correct or improve the already adopted activities to propose laws which do not existdecision, 31,8 % after an initiative is started, yet, but would be beneficial to thebut the decision hasnt been adopted yet, organisations they represent, 33% act afterwith the goal to avoid a possible future an initiative starts, but no decision has beenproblem or to offer a suitable direction for adopted yet and only 29,6% show a reactivethe law, corresponding with their own behaviour to correct or improve an alreadyinterests. existing law.Only 22,7 % initiate lobby actions in order topropose a law which doesnt exist yet, butwould be beneficial to companies. © Forum for International Communications 19
  • 21. Lobby în România Studiu independentTHE POLITICIANS OPINION Lobbyists to whom politicians grant Politicians credit professional most credit associations with the highest credibility (35%), NGOs and firms specialising in lobby with an equal of 23% and individual companies which contact Individual Lobbying companies them directly only with 15%. The lowest firms 15% 23% credibility is granted to law firms (4%). Professional associations NGOs 35% 23% Law firms 4% Politicians said that they are motivated to What motivates politicians to listen to discuss with lobbyists mainly when these lobbists arguments are transparent concerning the interests they represent (54%) but also for their specialised expertise (34%) or the fact 14% that they are well prepared (14%). This result shows that trust exceeds experi- 52% ence or personal qualities of the lobbyist, 34% which can be an indicator of past nega- tive experiences with dishonest persons. The lobbyists are transparent regarding their interests The lobbyists are experts in the field they represent The lobbyists are well prepared 20
  • 22. Lobby în România Studiu independent How politicians view lobbying efficiency for the following fields Consultancy NGOs Alcohol Tobacco Retail Utilities and public services Exploitation of natural resources FMCG Automotives Transportation Agriculture Financial services (Non-banking) Financial services (Banking)Telecommunication and information technology Pharmaceuticals Energy 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Extremely unefficient Unefficient Medium efficiency Efficient Extremely efficient 21
  • 23. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentWeaknesses of % Strengths of lobbyists in %lobbyists in the the opinion of politiciansopinion of politicians They offer free statistics and 26.9%They are not transparent 46.2% opinion measurement studiesenough They offer "a second opinion" 61.5%They are too aggressive 30.8% which can avoid the adoption ofThey dont understand the 30.8% a wrong decisiondecision process and The decision maker has better 53.8%procedures information concerning personsThey present information 30.8% supporting or not a certainnecessary for the decision problem, why they chose toeither too early or too late support it and what the effectsInformation is not relavant 23.1% are for the populationor not specific enough Improves the relationship with 19.2%Information is not concise 34.6% the votersenough to be understood ina reasonable timeUnethical suggestions are 7.7% Among the main reasons why politiciansmade appreciate lobbyists we count the following: 61.5% appreciate the fact that these offer "a second opinin" which avoids adopting a wrong decision and 53.8% appreciate the fact that they obtain better information Regarding the weaknesses about who supports or not a certain issue of lobbyists, the most an- and how this affects population. Even more noying for politicians is the surprising is the fact that only 19.2% have in mind improving the relationship with voters fact that they are not trans- or that they benefit from free statistics and parent enough (46.2%), that public opinion measurement studies (26.9%). information is not concise enough to be understood This shows that politicians have a higher rapidly (34.6%), on third fear of making a wrong decision than a, otherwise legitimate desire to improve the place ranking equally relationship to the voters. This result totally (30.8%) aggressiveness, lack contradicts the general image of politicians and the motivation of their cooperation of understanding of the de- with lobbyists. cision making process and providing information too Last ranks the nuisance caused by unethical propositions, but this aspect is problematic early or too late. for only 7.7% of politicians. © Forum for International Communications 22
  • 24. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independent Another gratifying fact for lobbyists is that Politicians 69.2% of politicians personally read sources of information material provided by lobbyists before making a decision and 42.3% conduct research on their own. Although, as seen 53,8% before, this category is ignored, 53.8% of 69,2% politicians adopt decisions based on research conducted by members of their cabinet. 42,3% I read with interest the information provided by lobbyists I do my own research I rely on the research conducted by my cabinet Information sources most used by politicians80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0% National Radio and Educational Corporate Publications of NGOs Thematic Social newspapers Television and scientific publications professional publications blogs and networks magazines associations forums (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc) Concerning information sources of politicians, although the first choice is not at all surprinsing (TV and redio - 73%), the surprising fact is that publications of professional associations and newspapers are equally used as information sources (46%), or when we find out that thematic blogs and forums are read by 39%, social networks also representing an information source for 27% of the respondents. The least interesting for politicians are corporate publications (8%). © Forum for International Communications 23
  • 25. Lobby în România Studiu independentWith or without a lobbying law? The results are surprising and demonstrate the contrary of many Public opinion on the effects perceptions accepted as such by both of lobbying regulation politicians and lobbyists. 43% of the questioned (urban public) dont 21% know what to answer when asked about the 44% public disclosure of lobby activities. 34% answered nevertheless that disclosing these 22% activities must be a legal obligation, this 13% being the strongest opinion among the respondents; 18% declared that this disclosure must be voluntary while only 5% answered that the disclosure is not Lobbying regulation will slow down influence necessary at all. peddling and corruption in general by disclosing lobbyists activities In the opinion of the population, the main Lobbying regulation will help citizens to be better guilt for a lacking law regulating lobby informed on who wants to influience a certain law activities lies with politicians (43%). and why laws are being initiated or modified Although at a significant distance in Lobbying regulation will make influence peddling percentage the civil society is also legal considered to be guilty (7%), followed by companies specialising in lobby activities I dont know closing the list (6%).Regulating lobbying by law is one of the Public opinion on disclosingmost controversial discussions. Until now lobbyists activitiesmainly specialised lobbying companies andemployers organisations had a louder voiceand fought the issueing of a law which 34%regulates lobbying. 43%Politicians, through their non-passing and 18%through their privately expressed opinionswhen approached to participate in thisstudy, tend to avoid the subject. On the one 5%hand they fear the association with certainpersons susceptible of corruption which Disclosing lobbyists activities has to be enforcedclaimed to conduct lobby activities and, on by lawthe other hand, they believe that the non- Disclosing lobbyists activities has to be voluntaryregulated position is representative amongboth population and organisations There is no need to disclose lobbyists activitiesconducting lobby activities. I dont know 24
  • 26. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independent Public view on the reasons of not having a lobbying law Do you think lobbying should be regulated by law? Public opinion 44% 43% Politicians NGOs 7% 6% Companies 0% 50% 100% Politicians did not want it Lobbying firms did not want it Civil sociery did not want it I dont know Yes NoOther suprising results emerged when Regarding the motivation to issue a lawasking the question whether lobby activity concerning lobby activities the generalneeds to be regulated by law: opinion shared by population, companies, NGOs and politicians is diminishing corruption in decision making activity 82% of companies100% of NGOs followed by the advantages of standard compulsory declaration for all lobbyists and 100% of politicians declared and a greater protection against opaque that lobbying needs to be competition activities. regulated by law, which contradicts the assumption that no regulation of this activity is desired. The almost unanimous opinion is also mirrored in the "vox populi" survey with 93%. © Forum for International Communications 25
  • 27. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independent For the population "to know who and for Motivations of regulating lobbying by law what is conducting lobby" represents the second motivation for the existence of a law in this field, right after diminishing corruption in decision making activities. Contrary to politicians fears concerning public Other opinion, the percent which considers lobbying to be legal is majoritary (88%). OnlyDiminishing corruption in decision making 12% consider lobbying activities to be illegal. A greater protection Public opinion: do you think against not transparent lobbying is a legal activity? activities of some 12% The same declaration conditions for all players Yes No 0% 20% 40% 60% 88% Politicians NGOs Companies Also new (and relatively surprising) is thePopulations motivation % answer to the question "Who do you thinkThe same declaration conditions for should render his activities more 17.9%all players transparent?" 82% wish for both lobbyistsA greater protection against "not 17.9% and public authorities to become moretransparent" activities of someDiminishing corruption in decision transparent in their activities, which 42.9% contradicts the statements that themaking activitiesTo know who is conducting lobby population wants transparency only from 18.8%and for what public authorities.Other 2.7% © Forum for International Communications 26
  • 28. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independent Public opinion: who do you Do you think a Voluntary think should make lobbying Lobbying Register would have transparent? the same effect as a lobbying law? 4% 14% Public opinion 82%The lobbyists The authorities Both actors Politicians Between 60 and 70% of NGOs companies, NGOs, politicians and the public consider that a voluntary activity register will have the Companies same effects as a legal obligation for lobbyists to declare their 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% activities. No Yes © Forum for International Communications 27
  • 29. Lobby în România Studiu independent Assuming the existence of a Voluntary Register , how much consideration would you give to such an initiative? 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% None, I would loose None, it would not Maximum one day per Maximum one week I would disclose all my too much time justify the costs year per year activities, regardless of costs Companies NGOsAssuming the existence of a Voluntary Register, 32% of the companies and 24% of NGOswould never consider registering lobby activities, argueing that this would take too muchtime or money, 32% of companies and 28% of NGOs would spend between one day and oneweek per year for this activity. 48% of NGOs would agree to disclose all activities, no matterof the time and money involved. 36% of companies say they would do the same. 28
  • 30. Lobby în România Studiu independentConclusions Lobbying generally remains unknown to the public, which isA great number of expected, taking into account the specificity of this field.statements in the pub- Nevertheless, 95% consider lobbying to be beneficial andlic space prove not tobe sustainable in real- 88.3% consider it to be legal which indicates a discrepancyity: the general popu- between public opinion and general politicians or media supositions on public perception.lation makes the cleardistinction between When asked what they think about the local practice of legislationlobby and bribe or in- influencing activities, an important percent of 56.7% say that influence peddling, reality no lobby is conducted, but rather influence ped-NGOs realise most dling or bribe is being used to change legislation, whichlobby activities and shows that the population makes the difference between the twolegislative regulation is activites which are supposed to be confused.called for by a vastmajority of respon- Apparently most lobbying activities are conducted by NGOs (thingdents across all survey also noticed by population) followed by multinational companies, with only 4 % being companies specialised in conducting lobbyingcategories. for and in the name of third parties. Romanian companies have generally a reactive behav- iour, initiating lobbying actions only after a decision has been adopted in order to correct or improve that decision. NGOs are an example of pro-activity instead, the majority having proactive activities to propose normatives which dont exist yet, but which would be to the benefit of those organisations which they represent or act immediately after an initiative, where no final decision has been adopted yet. Concerning the opinion of politicians towards lobby activity, this is considered by many a tabu subject because of fears (as shown, not justified) that the voters wont understand their availability to discuss with representatives of different NGOs, professional associations or companies. Probably this fear of negative associations makes that the trans- parency concerning the interests that lobbyist repre- sent is more important than the expertise in that field or their specialisation, which can be a consequence of past negative experiences with dishonest persons. 29
  • 31. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentConcerning a lobbying law, one of the most controversialproblems (at least in the media and statements of somecompanies), the result is surprisingly against the initial premisethat this regulation isnt desired by anybody.The results totally dismantle this myth: 82% of companies,100% of NGOs and 100% of politicians declared thatlobbying must be legally regulated. The majority opinion ofpopulation is also favorable to the existance of a law over thisactivity to enforce disclosing lobbying activities.The alternative of a Voluntary Register of lobbying ac-tivities is not accepted, with 60 to 70% of companies, NGOs,politicians and public opinion considering that a voluntary registerof lobby activities wont have the same effects as the legalobligation of lobbyists to disclose their activities.The research also revealed another surprise: 82% of "vox populi"respondents wish that both lobbyists and authorities wouldbecome more transparent concerning their activities. This resultcontradicts the affirmation that the population wishestransparency only from public authorities. © Forum for International Communications 30
  • 32. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentAbout the Authors Liviu Mihăileanu is Certified Knowledge Manager (Knowledge Management Institute, Switzerland) and coordinates the operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India of a global knowledge management service. He offered support for the compliance of public institution with European Union regulations and has run major projects in risk management and compliance for companies in the energy sector, telecommunications, banking and IT. Liviu co-authored the book "Regulation of lobby activity. In the antechamber of influence" and has written a large number of articles published in eco- nomic and law magazines. Dr. Dana Oancea is a member of the management board of Forum for International Communications since 2003, position in which she coordinated various communications consultancy projects as well as editorial and research projects. Alongside Thomas Achelis, Dana implemented Romanian PR Award the most important communication excellence recognition event in Romania, reaching this year its 10th edition. Dana participated in international judging panels on the topic of public relations and initiated numerous research studies in PR. She believes in the combination of professionalism and ethics being the robust recipe of PR performance. Dana works in PR for over 12 years now and supports the professional cause with the resource platform PR Romania, which she initiated in 2009 with the help of international specialised organisations. Dana graduated the Faculty of International Economic Relations, she holds a masters degree in "European Intergration and she’s Ph.D. in political science from Ludwig-Maximilian- Universität. Aurelian Horja has over 10 years of experience in strategic consultancy in communication and managing image crisis and co-authored the book "Regulation of lobby activity. In the antechamber of influence". He offers consultancy both for trade companies and NGOs; in the social field he coordinated national campaigns with a major public impact, e.g. "on May 31st Romania quits smoking" or national campaigns against domestic violence "You hit them? We hit you! With the law" and "You like fighting? Pick someone your size!" designed for ADRA Romania and organised together with the world champion Leonard Doroftei (award winning campaign at the Civil Society gala). He graduated from the National School of Political and Administrative Sciences and has a master in "Managing Image Campaign", the subject of his latest work is "The Impact of New Media in Managing Image Crises" with the focus to refresh approaches and classical communication strategies presently used for the management of problems and crises encountered in companies or NGOs. © Forum for International Communications
  • 33. LOBBYING IN ROMANIA Independent Research Lobby în România Studiu independentAbout the Initiator Forum for International Communications is an NGO which supports in the field of professional communicators ethical and performance standards of the public relations profession. The foundation organises from 2003 the competition Romanian PR Award and the event Romanian PR Week established as the mostimportant recognition of excellence awards in the field of business communication in Romania.With the support of US Institute for Public Relations the foundation implemented in 2009 thenational research "Media Transparency and Media Practices in Romania" and presently runs aseries of educational programs, lectures and public debates, trainings and professional trainingsas well as a series of informal meetings between professionals. In March 2006 the Foruminitiated the program CSR România with the goal to promote best practice in the field ofcorporate social responsibility, program recently affiliated to the European network CSR Europe.In April 2009 the Foundation launched the resource portal PR Romania.Project Partner Present on the local market from 1992, GfK Romania is for longer than 10 years now number one in market research with a turnover of almost 9,5 million Euros in 2010. The activities of GfK Romania are structured in four segments: Custom Research -ad hoc research, Consumer Panel - continuous research for consumer goods, Retail and Technology - continuous research for electronics and home ap- pliances and Media - qualitative and quantitative research for the consumption of media products. Contact Dana Oancea Forum for International Communication Str. Uranus nr. 98, Bl. U8, Sc. 4, Ap. 74 050826 Bucuresti [T]: 0722-964382; 031-4014245 Twitter: @PRRomania, Facebook: PRRomania The costs for the realisation of this study where borne integrally by its initiators (the implementation of the component "vox populi" in cooperation with GfK Romania) and there were no material benefits following its publication. English translation by Casa de Traduceri © Forum for International Communications