The Public Affairs Community of Europe – PACE – had its 7th annual meeting in Athens for two days. What a great experience, to have insights on the status of Public Affairs throughout the several present countries – and to exchange knowledge and ideas!
LOYAL Advisory had the opportunity to address the 20 members present, as an invited participant, sharing some thoughts about the present moment of Public Affairs in Europe and the ever growing regulation of the activity.
During the two days of the meeting I had the chance to know how, although it is a necessary and inclusive part of the democratic proccess, lobby is still not very well perceived in some countries, and is deregulated – the case that applies, unfortunately to Portugal.
The problem across the several countries, as we perceived on own discussions, is very much the same: lack of regulation leads to a Wild West environment on the Lobby/Public Affairs ecosystem, where everyone acts on their own ethic standards; which leads, in its turn, to bad reputation for all lobbyists and lobby activities. The new statutes on Lobby and transparency that are being implemented on the other hand, are needed, but may in the end be too strict… a thin line to balance in.
This was an excelent opportunity to understand how lobby and lobbyists are perceived by those that follow their work – both those who are lobbyed and the compliance and transparency organizations. It was particularly interesting to listen to Daniel Freund, from Transparency International, giving his view on what are the main challenges to lobbying in the 21st century and how can organizations, companies and consultancies work together.
Equally challenging for our own set up ideas the speech of Diego Canga Fano, Head of Cabinet of the president of the European Parliament, who shared his insights about lobbying effectivelly. His 25 years experience on the European Institutions, turn Mr. Canga Fano an expert on how good and bad lobby is made, and what are the steps also for effective lobbying.
Already can’t wait for the 2018 meeting!