Ekomenzoge; Lobbying And Political Consultancy In The Eu
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Ekomenzoge; Lobbying And Political Consultancy In The Eu Presentation Transcript

  • 1. LOBBYING & POLITICAL CONSULTANCY IN THE EU WELCOME TO BRUSSELS LOBBYCRACY Presenters: Ekomenzoge Metuge
  • 2. EU Lobbying AWARD 2005
  • 3. Brussels Lobbycracy
    • The complex, often unaccountable EU decision-making procedures, and the lack of a truly European public debate have all created a'democratic deficit'. This, in turn, has engenderd 'a democratic wish'. Hence, Brussels has become a centrepoint for lobbyists.
    • Brussels now competes with Washington D.C. as the global capital of lobbying.
  • 4. Contents
    • The format of this presentation is as outlined below.
    • Definition
    • Background
    • Kinds of Lobbying
    • Interest Representation in the EU and in Brussels
    • Women and Lobbying in Brussels
    • Regulating Lobbying at the EU level
  • 5. Possible Definition Of Lobbying
    • The word 'lobbying' has it roots in the British parliamentary tradition. The ‘lobby’ lies at the front of the debating chamber of the House of Commons. It is the place where members of parliament meet the public who try to explain to, persuade or entreat parliamentarians to support or oppose a cause.
  • 6. Possible Definition Of Lobbying
    • Lobbying still remains a way of
    • influencing the political decision
    • making process for special interest groups or pressure groups. It, unfortunately, conjures a negative image to some people, and is often suspected of putting democracy in danger. This is because it is more accessible to the financially powerful, than to the socially excluded.
  • 7. BACKGROUND
    • LOBBYISTS AND CONSULTANTS
    • EU POLICY MAKING
    • PATTERNS
  • 8. Background
    • EU POLICY MAKING PATTERNS
    • European level: ( EU core) EC, EP, Council, CoR, and ECOSOC
    • National level: ( EU Member States) but also regional and local
    • Civil society at national and European levels: ( lobby groups, interest representation, networks, NGOs, etc
  • 9. Non-governmental interest lobbying
    • Sub-national levels of government
      • Regional and local governments: direct lines of communication with EU institutions and offices in Brussels
      • Degree of involvement and activity depends on autonomy and maneuverability at national level
      • Over 100 sub-national authorities maintain representative offices in Brussels
  • 10. Non-governmental interest lobbying
    • Private and Public Companies:
      • Multinational corporations; very active in lobbying EU institutions
      • Over 250 firms have offices in Brussels
      • Conducted on a direct basis
  • 11. Non-governmental interest lobbying
    • National interest groups:
      • Attempt to involve themselves in EU processes (e.g. Environment)
      • Business and trade; many are from non-EU countries and are quite influential (e.g. AMCHAM-EU)
      • Large industrial and agricultural groups; have representatives and agents permanently based in Brussels
  • 12. Lobbyists and Pressure groups Activities
    • Service functions = the provision of specific services for their members (e.g. the gathering of information)
    • Lobbying functions = attempt to influence decision-making processes from outside (e.g. by meeting commission officials or participating in public hearings)
  • 13. Lobbyists & Pressure Groups Activities
    • Decision-making functions = attempt to influence decisions from within (e.g. by direct participation in the decision-making process through expert committees; selecting and formulating research project proposals).
    • Implementation functions = participate in policy implementation (e.g. by taking over management functions in programme implementation).
  • 14. Different Kinds of Lobbying
    • Where/How should I do my Lobbing?
    • INSIDE
    • OR
    • OUTSIDE
  • 15. Different kinds of lobbying activities.
    • 1 Inside Lobbying: takes place in the capital and includes:
    • Meeting with lawmakers and legislative staff
    • Testifying in committees
    • Negotiating with policymakers and other lobby groups
    • Providing information and analyses to committees.
  • 16. Different kinds of Lobbying Activities
    • 2 Outside Lobbying: takes place out of the capital and includes:
    • Letter writing campaigns
    • Grassroots activities such as rallies, etc
    • Building broad and diverse coalitions
    • Local lobbying visits by constituents to their legislators
    • Media activities, conferences, radio news, etc.
  • 17. Practical tips for lobbying your legislator or elected official
    • Establish your agenda and goals
    • Listen well
    • Be prepared, but don't feel that you need to be an expert
    • Don't stay too long
    • Remember you are there to build a relationship
    • Follow-up is important
    • Maintain contacts
    • Be serious, coherent and persuasive
    • Observe the reactions of the adverse parties
    • Be aware of cultural differences
  • 18. VARIETIES OF INTEREST LOBBY GROUPS IN EUROPE
    • Firms
    • Employers and Labour Groups
    • Professions
    • Social and Environmental Interests
    • Citizen Interests
    • Territorial Interests ( regional/local interests )
    • Policy Sectors ( social, cultural, educational, )
  • 19. INTEREST REPRESENTATION
    • Interest Representation
    • in EU
    • and
    • Brussels
  • 20. INTEREST REPRESENTATION IN EU AND BRUSSELS
    • About 15,000 lobbyists in Brussels
    • About 1450 formal interest groups addressed to the EU
    • About 829 lobby groups in Belgium
    • About 768 lobby groups in Brussels
    • About 171 Offices of regions in Brussels
    • # Of these groups:
    • =65% - Business
    • =20% - Public interest groups
    • =10% - Professions
    • =5% - Trade unions, consumers,environmentalists
  • 21. Lobbying in EU Policy-Making
    • Lobbying the National Government :
      • Lobbyists try to influence Council decision-making
      • Influence the way EU decisions are implemented
      • Lobby for national interest by pressurising those who make and implement policies
  • 22. Lobbying in EU Policy Making
    • Lobbying the European Commission:
    • Organised interests provide unique benefits to the European Commission by serving as:
    • a) source of information in the drafting of
    • legislation
    • b): means of ‘testing out’ proposals
    • c): source of information about
    • implementation of measures and their impact
  • 23. Lobbying in EU Policy Making
    • Lobbying the European Parliament:
      • Use MEPs to get legislative initiatives off the ground
      • Encourage MEPs to draw up own initiative reports
      • Circulate general information
      • Address MEPs and members of committees dealing with relevant pieces of legislation
      • Intergroups
  • 24. Activities of Interest Groups
    • Source of information about EU legislation, action, budgetary issues, decision-making and policy implementation in a specific field
    • Lobby their interests at EU institutions by providing recommendations to policymakers
    • Provide a European dimension to the sector
    • Create an identity for project development
    • Networking with other organisations
  • 25. How they operate
    • Annual assemblies, other meetings and activities for members
    • Visibility to conferences, EP sessions, events
    • Promotional materials (logo, leaflets, & brochures)
    • Meeting with experts in the field, the EC, MEPs, National Governments
    • Dissemination of information through newsletters, email lists, & websites
  • 26. Their Budgets
    • Donations
    • Private sponsorship
    • Member contributions
    • National Governments
    • EU funding ( through EP)
    • EU funding ( through EC projects)
  • 27. WOMEN LOBBYING
  • 28. Women’s Lobby in the EU: Why?
    • Current status of Women in the EU
    • Women's issues in EU policies
    • EU funding for women’s issues
    • EU bodies dealing with women's issues
    • Some examples of women’s lobbying and networking
    • Assets of women’s lobbying
    • Challenges for women lobbying
    • Challenges in the new Member States
    • Recommendations
  • 29. Current status of women in the EU
    • Women constitute about 60% of the EU
    • However, only:
      • 5 out of the 20 commissioners are women
      • 31% of MEPs are women
      • 9.3% of women are in top management positions
      • 6% are full-time academic professors
      • 8% are directors of bank divisions
  • 30. Women issues in EU policies
    • The Treaties:
      • Articles 2 and 3 on Gender equality
      • Article 13 on anti-discrimination
      • Articles 137 and 141 on equality in the labour market
    • EU Directives on gender equality and equal opportunity for all in the new cohesion framework
  • 31. EU funding for women’s issues
    • Funding is ‘dispersed’ among different actions, different DGs, and across EU institutions
    • Some funding examples:
      • DG Research
      • DG Employment ( equal )
      • DG Education and Culture
  • 32. EU bodies dealing with women's issues
    • European Commission
      • DG Employment, industrial relations and social affairs, equal opportunities unit
      • Commissioners’ Group on Equality
      • Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities (composed of ministerial representatives
    • Council of Ministers (social affairs council but no gender equality council)
    • European Parliament
      • Committee on women’s rights
  • 33. Some Examples of Women's lobbying and networking
    • EWL – The European Women’s Lobby
    • Several national women’s councils in most European countries
    • CECIF – European Centre of the International Council of Women
    • ENOW – European Network of Women
    • University Women
  • 34. Assets of Women’s Lobbying
    • Fight for integration, civil dialogue
    • Promoting education and training
    • Raising awareness on gender equality issues
    • Encourage a balance between an Economic Europe and a Social Europe
    • Encouragement of an open and more tolerant society
  • 35. Challenges for women lobbying
    • Poor funding for women NGOs
    • Fear that the enlarged EU will increase bureaucratic procedures
    • Large disparities between Scandinavian, and Central/Eastern European Countries
    • Stereotyping and male-dominant culture in society
  • 36. Challenges in the new Member States
    • High levels of women unemployment
    • Lack of training possibilities
    • Lack of care provisions for children
    • A big-big gender pay gap
    • The division between men’s and women’s work is still very strong
    • Rural women
  • 37. Recommendations
    • Women supporting women
    • More diversity in representation
    • Training and capacity-building
    • Regular and transparent consultation with NGOs; a strong civil dialogue
    • Creation of sustainable funding means (instead of project form activities)
  • 38. Promotion of Diversity
    • After all, there are :
    • Young women
    • Women from ethnic minorities
    • Migrant women
    • Gay women
    • Women living in the cities/rural areas
    • Older women
    • Single women
  • 39. RULES OF THE GAME
    • REGULATING
    • LOBBYING AT THE EU LEVEL
  • 40. Present Regulation (1)
    • Lobbying activities are estimated to be worth 60-90 million euros annually
    • No mandatory regulation on registration, and reporting of lobby activities
    • Registers provided by lobbyists' organisations in the EU are voluntary, incomprehensive, and do not provide much information on the specific interests represented, or how they are financed
    • Self-imposed code of conduct have few signatories, and have so far lacked serious sanctions
  • 41. Present Regulation (2 )
    • Commission has a voluntary database CONECCS (Consultation, the European Commission and Civil Society) which
    • - can be regarded as a database on European interest (lobby) groups as it includes trade unions and employers federations, NGOs, consumers groups, organisations representing social and economic players, charitable organisations and community based organisations
    • The organisations listed in CONECCS are required to have a
    • minimum presence in three Member States and to provide
    • information on financing, coverage ( countries in which they
    • operate), objectives, policy areas and postholders (President,
    • etc), which is then displayed on the Internet.
  • 42. Present Regulation (3)
    • The European Parliament (EP) has a system of accreditation, which:
      • Is for those needing frequent access to this institution ( defined as five days or more per year).
      • Allows physical access to the Parliament ( special passes, which state the person’s name, firm and the organisation represented, are issued by the Quaestors and valid for a year).
    • A lobbyist register is published on the EP website.
    • It is in alphabetical order.
    • It, however, does not give any indication of the interests for which a lobbyist is acting.
  • 43. Present Regulation (4)
    • The German Bundestag, for the time being, is the only Parliament that has adopted specific and formal rules regarding the registration of lobbyists
      • Each year a public list is drawn up of all groups wishing to express or defend their views before the Bundestag or the Federal Government.
    • In Hungary, legislation is currently being drawn up that would require lobbyists to provide detailed information about their activities
    • In June 2005, the Government of Slovakia approved a draft law on lobbying. If adopted by Parliament, the law will come into force from 01/01/06.
      • The law will enable registered people with a trade licence to perform lobbying as a legal activity
      • They will have to publish reports on their contacts with public officers every three months.
      • They will also have to release details of their income and expenditures annually.
  • 44. European Transparency Initiative (1)
    • Commission has made transparency one of its objectives for the 2005-2009 period.
    • Commissioner Siim Kallas launched an ‘European Transparency Initiative’ (ETI) during a speech in Nottingham in march 3rd,2005.
    • ETI has two main thematic focuses:
      • increase financial accountability
      • strengthen personal integrity and institutional independence; and it focuses among other topics on the possibility of regulating lobbying.
  • 45. European Transparency Initiative (2)
    • The college held an orientation debate on 18th May 2005
    • It was decided to set up an Interdepartmental Work Group (IWG) to carry out preparatory work of the European Transparency Initiative.
    • European Transparency Initiative was adopted by the Commission last week 9th of November, 2005.
  • 46. European Transparency Initiative (3)
    • By the beginning of 2006 a Green Paper will be published to launch a debate with all the stakeholders on how to improve transparency on the Community Funds, consultation with civil society and the role of the lobbyists and NGOs in the European institutions, decision-making processes
    • It is possible that the need will eventually arise for the introduction of mandatory legislation on lobbying, even though the present Commission has adopted an approach on less regulation.
  • 47. ALTER-EU (1)
    • ALTER-EU = Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation.
    • One of the associations of EU lobbyists.
    • Official launch was 19th July,2005; attended by Commissioner Kallas.
    • A coalition of over 150 civil society groups, trade unions, academics and public affairs firms, calling for:
      • EU improved code of conduct for European Commission Officials
      • EU lobbying disclosure legislation.
      • The European Commission to terminate cases of privileged access and undue influence granted to corporate lobbyists.
  • 48. ALTER-EU (2)
    • ALTER-EU’s main concerns:
      • Growing influence of corporate lobby groups in European Union decision-making.
      • European Commission has developed a tradition of awarding privileged access to corporate interests.
      • The enormous influence of corporate lobbyists undermines democracy, and all too frequently, results in the weakening, or blocking of urgently needed progress in the areas of social, environmental and consumer protection within the EU.
  • 49. ALTER-EU (3)
    • is on the opinion that, as a first step in addressing these problems, the Commission should take determined action to improve transparency around lobbying, and ensure that no business groups are given privileged access and influence on EU policy-making.
    • welcomes the ‘European Transparency Initiative’ (ETI), in particular, the goal of addressing the current lack of mandatory regulation and reporting of lobbying activities
  • 50. ALTER-EU demands (1)
    • EU Lobbying disclosure legislation, which must include:
      • A mandatory system of electronic registration & reporting for all lobbyists with a significant annual lobbying budget. The reports must be made available in a fully searchable, sortable & downloadable online database
      • Enforceable ethics rules for lobbyists.
  • 51. ALTER-EU demands (2)
    • An improved code of conduct for Commission Officials, including:
      • Recording of formal and informal meetings between Commission officials and lobbyists, and the logging of correspondence (to be made available in fully searchable online database)
      • An extended ‘cooling off’ period before Commissioners and senior officials can start working for lobby groups or lobbying advisory firms
      • The European Commission should encourage the other EU institutions, e.g. the EP and the EC to develop similar rules
  • 52. ALTER-EU demands (3)
    • The Commission must terminate cases of privileged access and undue influence granted to corporate lobbyists, e.g.
      • Joint taskforces in which corporate interests are represented, while public interest NGOs are not (such as Cars 21 which consists of Commission officials, CEOs and lobbyists from the automobile industry, but no environmental NGOs)
      • The privileged status accorded to business lobby groups like the European Services Forum and the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue.
  • 53. Advantages of Lobbying
    • Advantages of Lobbying in the EU:
      • Broadens the participatory base of the EU and ensures that policy and decision-making are not completely controlled by politicians and officials
      • Can provide EU authorities with information and viewpoints that improve the quality and effectiveness of their policies and decisions
  • 54. Disadvantages of Lobbying
    • Disadvantages of Lobbying in EU :
      • Some interests are much more powerful and influential than others = not democratic
      • Lack of transparency
      • Encourage corruption
  • 55. Questions ?
    • Does lobbying improve the decision-making process in the EU ?
    • Who gains more from this process - the lobbyists or decision-makers?
    • Bye-Bye
  • 56. References
    • http:/www.alter-eu.org
    • http:/www.euractiv.com
    • http:/www.corporateeurope.org
    • http:/www.lobbycontrol.de
    • http:/www.gender-equality.webinfo.it
    • http:/www.corpwatch.org
    • http:/www.europa.eu.int/com/commission_borroso/kallas/transparency_en.htm