89 Connect Forums Organisations EU Lobbying: gaps and vulnerabilities

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Luka Becker 05/03/2020, 09:49.

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  • #4198
    Asami Khula
    Asami Khula
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    Newcomer
    117 points

    Lobbying is an interesting topic to me, although I know it is a controversial one.
    Indeed, Member states play a huge role in EU decision-making, but often they act as puppets for corporate interests. As far as I know, today there are ca. 25,000 lobbyists working in Brussels; most of whom speak for the interests of corporations and their lobby groups.

    Corporate lobbies actively influence decision-making, via national ministers and officials, to ensure that EU laws and policies suit their needs. These corporate lobbies include famous national brands; iconic sectors; high-spending EU trade associations; and more. The topics they cover are endless, going from climate change, finance, chemicals to data privacy, and many other issues.

    Are they a threat to decision-makers and civil society, influencing member states? What structural changes are needed in their regards?
    I think that something should be done not only by EU institutions, but also action by governments, both at national and regional levels.

  • #4540
    Luka Becker
    Luka Becker
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    228 points

    I think you are forgetting about the good side of lobbying.

    When you say “are they a threat to decision-makers?” I say that the act of lobbying helps reduce the fact that a majority in the governing position can pass whatever legal legislation they want. But lobbyists present the point of view of those who will be affected by these changes, avoiding mistakes.

    Furthermore, as it’s not obvious that officials are always aware of all the needs of different groups within their community, lobbyists highlight problems and can offer solutions officials were not aware of. This makes it easier to craft right legislation as the officials can base it on the research of lobbyists.

    Of course, there will always be certain lobbyists who use unethical means to influence politicians, and I agree that something should be done with them, maybe in terms of punishment. But for rest of the lobbyists, there is a defined law to define their actions, creating consistency for all parties.

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