In an increasingly complex world, where politicians are required to make decisions without having a detailed understanding on often very technical issues. A dialogue between politicians on one hand and corporations and society on the other, is necessary to guarantee the best possible regulatory framework.
At the same time, lobbying is too often handled in ways that lack transparency and therefore often connected with bribery.
Mrs. Rotondo and APRI are great supporters of a more transparent process, in line with the OECD recommendations. Unfortunately in almost all countries the process needs to be improved. According to Transparency International, only some Scandinavian countries, Canada and the EU bodies have transparent and well functioning mechanisms in place.
Other challenges lobbyist are confronted with, include building trustworthy relationships with a large number of legislative bodies. Not only are these entities constantly changing, but they are also present at the local, national and international level.
Another challenge is to help your clients understand that shaping legislation is a process that is often very time consuming and the impact is relatively limited.
Mrs. Rotondo highlighted that besides understanding the political / legislative process, the main skill-set required is communication and the ability to build up trust. Unlike the popular TV series “House of Cards”, it is absolutely clear that in almost all cases a company cannot just argue with its own interests. Instead it is important to connect these interests with those of the society. Only then will companies have a realistic chance at shaping the legislation.
Lobbying and dealing with the non-market strategies is a very interesting field likely to grow in Europe in the next couple of years. Lobbying is considered a very important job by corporations, as one can ultimately have a huge impact on the business and bottom line P&L. However the impact and influence is much more indirect and subtle.