June 1 2023
Brussels is the lobbying capital of Europe. Corporations – big and small – from various industries and from various countries – in and outside the European Union – try to participate to influence the making of the law. And it works. It is estimated that there are over 25,000 lobbyists working in the European Quarter.
At Athenora Consulting, we are convinced that
lobbying can improve the outcome of a regulation by providing the right expertise and accurate information.
What are the key success factors to influence decision-makers?
With 28 nationalities involved and ongoing interactions among the Commission, the Parliament and the Council, the European decision-making process might be hard to decipher. But the European institutions are open to discuss with stakeholders, to confront visions in the building of public policies that will support the political ambitions.
Indeed, there are many channels and tools to raise awareness about your stakes: public consultation, expert groups, conferences, position papers, amendments, activity on social media, meetings with decision makers. In this environment, public relations is just a tool for public affairs. With the right strategy based on a SWOT analysis focused on your strengths and weaknesses from a lobbying point of view, and the right understanding of the arena about the opportunities and threats, you can be successful.
You simply can’t navigate without understanding who the key decision makers are and how the balance of power works among the stakeholders actively involved in Brussels. Collective action is important in the balance of power, but this does not mean that a single company’s voice cannot be heard. This depends on the quality of the arguments and the vision proposed. There are clear rules on how you should interact with decision makers. Transparency and ethics must guide your lobbying engagement.
Indeed, a core value of lobbying is TRUST. You can build trust over time by providing sound expertise that builds your legitimacy. One mistake is usually to meet decision makers only once. This is communication, not lobbying.
In order to create a community of support, you need to engage in a dialogue, rooted in a common vision of where you want to go. The narrative is key for success. On this week’s episode of the PRGN Presents podcast series, I share more about lobbying in Brussels.
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