lobbyists

The European Parliament is currently considering a ban for some corporate lobbyists. The unprecedented move would strip lobbyists working for companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Amazon and Facebook of their parliamentary badges. It could also potentially remove them from the EU Transparency Register, blocking them from meeting with EU commissioners.

However, the ban would likely be temporary, and is only being considered as a punishment for multinational companies that have refused to appear before a special committee on tax shelters in the European Union. In addition, it is unclear how effective such a ban would be in practice as, even without their parliamentary badges, lobbyists could still enter the Parliament if they were invited as guests of an MEP.

Nevertheless, we had a comment from one of our readers, Tom, who supports a ban. Indeed, he believes that such a ban should be made permanent and extended to all lobbyists in Brussels, because access to politicians is so often based on how much money a given interest group can command:

citizen_icon_180x180Even with total transparency lobbying cannot be fair when the big money organisations can afford permanent staff contacting MEPs all the time. All personal lobbying should be banned unless an official committee asks for ALL interested parties to attend. Otherwise all lobbying should be by mail only which would give each party an equal chance of presenting their case.

 

Not all of our commenters agree. Another reader, Daniela argued that it isn’t just corporate interests that lobby, but also charities, labour unions, civil society groups, NGOs, and academics:

citizen_icon_180x180In my opinion, lobby work is not a bad thing but… an essential part of the democratic process, as long as it is transparent, balanced and independent from wealth. I was a scientist for nearly ten years and didn’t agree with many regulations affecting my research. However, your voice won’t be heard as an individual, it is impossible to engage with the EU during your daily job life. I am now working for a society (NGO) that gives thousands of members (including academia, charities, industry and research) a unified voice in specific issues… a voice that will be heard.

Given that politicians are supposed to consider carefully the effects of policy, would they be doing their job properly if they refused to meet with lobbyists? Is a blanket ban even a realistic prospect? If big multinationals are banned or restricted, what about NGOs, trade unions, and civil society groups? And, as one of our commenters asks, where should the line between lobbying and public advocacy be drawn?

The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) has published a guide to ethical lobbying in Brussels. It includes a suggested two-year “cooling off” period before former MEPs accept a job in the lobbying industry (an attempt to counter the so-called “revolving door” effect, which sees many politicians using their network of contacts to become lobbyists once they have left office). Would tougher rules along these lines be enough to restore public trust after some very damaging lobbying scandals?

There are an estimated 30’000 lobbyists in Brussels. It’s difficult to get accurate statistics for the amount of lobbying that takes place in the EU, but there are some estimates available. The EU has a “Transparency Register” that NGOs, businesses, trade unions, think tanks, academic institutions, religious organisations, etc. are encouraged to sign up to, but it is not mandatory (though the European Parliament is pushing for it to be made so). We’ve collected some of the available estimates below into an infographic (and you can click on the image for a larger version).

Lobbying02 Should companies be banned from lobbying politicians? Or is lobbying a necessary part of the democratic process? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – European Parliament


143 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • avatar
      Couturier Dominique

      Entièrement d’accord que c’est une corruption légale! A interdire DE TOUTE URGENCE

  1. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    There is nothing wrong with lobbying. The question should be : should politicians be paid by lobbying organisations and should this influence their decisions?

    • avatar
      Couturier Dominique

      Mike: Ils sont “informés” (= orientés dans leurs choix, par des semi-mensonges, quand ce ne sont pas de complets mensonges) par ces lobbys, même s’ils ne sont pas vraiment “payés”.
      They are “informed” by the lobbies, but this “information” is not true, made entirely or partly of lies. And its changes the minds of politicians.

    • avatar
      John White

      There’s nothing wrong with guns or bombs either. Lobbyists WILL influence government decisions or corporations wouldn’t hire them

    • avatar
      Ralph Stokes

      Perhaps you are right Mike. In which case politicians definitely shouldn’t be allowed to be paid by lobbying organisations – isn’t that just bribery?

  2. avatar
    Oli Lau

    you should ban all forms of lobbying, including unions and NGOs then.

    The real issue isn’t the lobby in itself but the power that the politicians have. They have simply too much power on our life. Limit their power on our life and the lobbies will see no point to use them anymore.

  3. avatar
    Stella Kontogianni

    This will never happen even if we hope it. I suppose companies will be more and more involved in any decisions from now and then. The point is how to handle it for our sake, how to take the advantage of this. If we want to be fair, every part should have right to express its opinion but not handling all the process and leading in disastrous results

  4. avatar
    Claus Skøtt Christensen

    God no. The practice wouldn’t stop, it would just move underground and become backroom deals and gray areas. With lobbying being legal, at least we have a publicly available list of who is influencing whom.

  5. avatar
    Dory Moutran

    How then would you expect decision-makers (MPs, governments) to make decisions? Should they become experts in everything they legislate on? Lobbies give arguments in their favor and a good politician listens to all sides before making an informed decision. As long as no bribery of any kind is involved, lobbying remains essential to the democratic process. But you should make sure that every interest can have its voice, especially those who don’t have one (environmental organizations, experts on poverty, disorganized interest groups, etc)

  6. avatar
    Pierfrancesco De Felice

    Lobbying isn’t the problem. The problem are the relations between corporations and politicians. CORRUPTION is the most important problem nowdays.

  7. avatar
    Giuseppe Dimunno

    The very starting point of the article should have been a clear distinction between lobby and advocacy (lobby is a “special” – borderline – kind of advocacy). Usually the first is the activity of economic power, the second is typical of NGOs. Without this nominal distinction there is just confusion in the material and legal sense.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      But does a clear distinction really exist? In the post, we make the point that the line between lobbying and public advocacy is actually very blurred. NGOs hire lobbying firms, and MEPs have told us that they are also lobbied intensively by trade unions and NGOs, as well as multinationals and trade federations.

      In fact, Transparency International lists WWF, Greenpeace, and the Climate Network Action Europe as among the lobby organisations with the most high-level meetings at the European Commission – http://www.integritywatch.eu/

  8. avatar
    Andrew Lally

    it is unfair that the wealthy and corporations can afford to employ full-time lobbyists to monitor upcoming legislation, whereas ordinary folk who have full-time jobs and responsibilities, and are without the resources to constantly monitor the democratic and legislative processes, are left without a voice. Legislation is therefore constantly skewed by the wealthy and powerful who shout the loudest. Lobbying therefore should either be illegal, or else there needs to be an advocate for ordinary folk/ a Devil’s Advocate lobbyist taking the contrarian view to every proposition, so that legislators can draft balanced legislation. Citizens don’t know when where how why to make contributions to legislation being drafted. That’s another part of the problem.

  9. avatar
    Marco Franck

    NO as long as it favours the citizens creates jobs and opportunities for all citizens and investors equally and fair

  10. avatar
    Marcel

    There is no fine line between lobbying (with or without corrupt data) and bribing. It is simply a grey area. It should be banned. FIFA is a fine example. Oestrogen mimicking chemicals still allowed in the EU is another. Glyphosate is another. HPV vaccine is another. All questionable because of “lobbying”. The list continues …

  11. avatar
    Antoine Che

    Lobbies are the logical end to the “elected representative” system, which is the opposite of the democratic system where the “citizen” is not limited to choosing a master but can actually vote for every law…
    It was possible in small communities before and is possible today on a big scale with Internet and Digital Identity…

  12. avatar
    Ciobîcă Ovidiu

    And the lobby is only about the plutocratic- oligarhic process, it has nothing to do withe the democratic one.

  13. avatar
    John Morton

    First, please describe what “lobbying” actually means. Then I may be able to give a considered opinion on the matter.

  14. avatar
    Karel Van Isacker

    Lobbying is what makes Schuman square a total disgrace. Just check who owns the buildings within 100 metres of that square…

  15. avatar
    catherine benning

    Yes. Unless they, the Lobbyists, are willing to expose their argument, in full, to the voting citizen, who in turn must have the right to call for a referendum on the outcome. That way we can see for ourselves the pros and cons of any initiative put up for our best interests.

  16. avatar
    Marijus Stasiulis

    Well politicians are corporations.
    Why do they spend huge amounts of money and where do they get it?
    Sacrificing your money to make world a better place?
    Well if you have a lot of money world is very nice place for you to live.
    How many politicians are philanthropists? Well?

  17. avatar
    AidandTrade London

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  18. avatar
    Robintel

    No, it isn’t, because “arguments” are seldom transparent!

  19. avatar
    Steve Harison

    corporate is not a political entity who holds political power, but they have economic power who can make political entity depended on :P

  20. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Depend’s how it’s done!

    A mandatory lobby register for any government (EU) is essential to uphold transparency, integrity and to comply with a strict code of ethics. Lobbying outside “parliament” –like golf courses, holiday cruises or any tête-à-tête should be banned & criminalized. Records show:

    “Analysis of the 4,318 lobby meetings DECLARED by the top tier of European Commission officials between December 2014 and June 2015 shows that more than 75% were with corporate lobbyists. This compares to 18% with NGOs, 4% with think tanks and 2% with local authorities. Google, General Electric and Airbus are some of the most active lobbyists at this level, with 25 to 29 meetings each. Google and General Electric are also some of the biggest spenders in Brussels, each declaring EU lobby budgets of around €3.5 million per year.” More here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobby_register

    http://alter-eu.org/press-releases/2014/07/15

    In relation, it takes at least 1 million EU citizen for a EU “Citizens Initiatives”- plus, plus-, but only one entry into the VOLUNTARY EU lobby register to be heard by any (eager) EMP. That is the degree of importance of a citizen in the EU today. It would be saver to control the ‘value’ of almighty EMP’s & their ethics by keeping them “closer” to a fully sovereign home parliament!

  21. avatar
    Marian Nicuriuc

    Not at all, lobbying is just a form of corruption, manipulation, influence and mote often than not twisting events into a desired by someone direction

  22. avatar
    ironworker

    You should ask yourself what corporation (industrial-financial-media conglomerates) are doing around politicians in first place. If the answer is something like “corporations are persuading politicians to influence votes or pushing several points from their agenda in political debates, guess what, you are right. The wrongdoing is done by politicians because they are elected to represent people not businesses, and by corporation because they lure politicians with top level positions in their organisations and/or bribe them to serve only corporation interests, in most cases against electors (people) will. I don’t even want to go to election campaign funding because there too it’s something fishy, Personally I’m calling it Corruption, nothing more, nothing less.

  23. avatar
    Tiago Miranda

    Lobbying breaks one fundamental law of democracy, which is Equality. By lobbying, corporations are limiting the choice factor lawmakers should have by giving an political advantage to sectors that, supposedly, should be on a free market, damaging other sectors that could compete fairly through merit and technological advance. And it also violates freedom just by limiting the choice of lawmakers, by biasing them to decide in favour of those companies, instead of deciding based on political views and facts given by studies and scientific analysis, as well as the opinion of the people THEY are supposed to represent.

  24. avatar
    Mike Oxlittle

    This proposed ban on lobbying seems like to me as a perfect excuse to up the level of bribes to commissioners and MEPs

  25. avatar
    Tony Kunnari

    If all people have it available within reach of their fingertips, then yes. If only few of us have the capability to lobby, then no.

  26. avatar
    Emil Panayotoff

    Lobbying is a pretty bad thing. Only those with money can usually afford it. This is not a democracy but rather a type of dictature. This could be allowed only in very controlled ways to garanty equality. In all other cases such as private companies it shall be criminalised and punished very seriously. Values are more important than money for any society with future. We live in times that all is corrupted in many ways :(

  27. avatar
    Weber Jan

    When you go and talk to a politician, and afterwards you pay him 50000Euros as a ”Political Donation” and then this politician behaves in a very favourable way towards your interests ofcourse this looks extremely corrupt, talking to politicians should remain legal, but political donations should be done away with completely, whats the point, if someone wants to run let them finance themselves, if none of them get money from corporations theyl all be on a same level, even a ordinary person could compete with them, this would open the door for new political opinions and bring elitists back down to the people.

  28. avatar
    Maximilian Feustel

    Everybody seems to agree about the evil corporate lobby: what do you think about lobbying by NGOs and special interest groups incl. the “good guys” such as Greenpeace etc.?

    • avatar
      Yvetta

      They should be banned as well. Good and bad are subjective things. They’ve all got their agendas they work on.

  29. avatar
    Stephen Pockley

    Yes it’s called corruption and bribery no other description needed.But then again isn’t that the EU all over

  30. avatar
    Yvetta

    Yes, they should be, as, otherwise, objectivity of politicians cannot be guaranteed.

  31. avatar
    LilyRose Kelly

    They can have a say, but what I hate about lobbying is only the rich and therefore powerful get thier voices heard and that is not democratic.

  32. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    .

    Your European Parliament is not discussing anything at the moment, they are all on an all expenses paid luxury holiday until the end of the month.

    • avatar
      Couturier Dominique

      C’est vrai. It’s true.

  33. avatar
    Aimilia G.

    Excuse me, but the question raises some more explanation.
    Is it lobbying in general or personal lobbying (because the speaker above is speaking about personal lobbying)??
    Hence, “lobbying” or else consultancy is essential for the democratic process.
    However, personal lobbying and “too much” lobbying, thus lobbying that is depending on monetary power instead of informational should be controlled and even banned.

  34. avatar
    Oli Lau

    All forms of lobbying should be banned then including unions and so called environmentalists defending green energy which are in fact the wealthiest lobbyists in Brussels (check EWEA and so on).

  35. avatar
    Eugenia Serban

    Sure. And who will pay the parties, then, campaignes, candidates,….?! Probably the tax payers…
    Can t stop the corporate power and influence, they are the essence of capitalism and growth. Otherwise, there is socialism=comunism, which is sheer terror and universal poverty.
    There are only 2 choices, (with many options, and faces…) but only 2 essentialy : either THE RICH rule the world, and we , the majority, can live decently, or THE POOR AND MANY rule, and we are all doomed.

    • avatar
      Jessie Miller

      That’s why they campaign. Yes, the people support the best candidates, not the self-interest groups. Only human individuals should be able to contribute. When a corporation supports candidates it buys loyalty. Once upon a time donations were anonymous. However, in today’s society, everyone knows who contributed to who and who those politicians and parties owe their allegiance to. Let us face it the fact that, he more money that is pumped into an election the more likely that candidate will win. Additionally, companies are pumping millions into anonymous fronts to boost the candidate they believe will be in favor of them. Look at Hillary Clinton. 100s of millions of dollars pushed her way and indirectly supporting her campaign. Give the people a little of what they want and do a lot for the corporations. That is how it works. Bernie Sanders is trying to tear this down and without people like Bernie Sanders in every country the systems will eventually operate like third world countries and bribes will be out in the open.

  36. avatar
    Peter Pien

    Lobbying is an iimportant scource of knowledge for the parlamentarians! It must be up to them how to use it.

  37. avatar
    Antonin Iorgovan

    Lobby de corporații, de obicei, înseamnă că acestea sunt în căutarea pentru a obține reduceri de impozite sau alte beneficii pentru a înclina terenul de joc în direcția lor. Ce face Uniunea Europeană diferit Statele Unite este faptul că UE consideră că trebuie să existe concurență, în scopul de a oferi cele mai mici preturi la consumatori, în comparație cu Statele Unite, unde există monopoluri.

    Un exemplu este televizor, internet, și de servicii de telefonie, în România și în Uniunea Europeană, există o alegere dintr-o varietate de cablu, prin satelit, și companiile IPTV concurente unele cu altele pentru afacerea dvs., deoarece legile sunt formulate fără influența acestor companii, asigurând corectitudinea și concurență.

    În Statele Unite, o propunere recenta a fuziona Comcast si Time Warner Cable ar fi dus la un monopol se întinde de la Maine, prin New York, statele Mid Atlantic, sud, Great Plains, și Coasta de Vest. De fapt un monopol rural, în cazul în care consumatorii pot alege o singura firma de cablu sau face fără televiziune accesibile sau de servicii Internet (serviciu de telefonie, de asemenea, furnizate de compania locală), opoziția la nivel national pentru astfel de fuziune a fost însoțită de aparatul de lobby mare al Corporației de Comcast . O astfel de fuziune a fost evitată din cauza opoziției din Departamentul de Justiție. Dar acum Time Warner Cable va fuziona cu cablu Carta, care va avea ca rezultat încă într-un monopol în zonele rurale ale statului New York și Midwest. Acum o astfel de fuziune ar merge în continuare prin cauza puterii de lobby combinată a Charter și Time Warner Cable, cu multe reprezentanții grupurilor de interese fiind foști oficiali guvernamentali de top, cu prietenii în locuri înalte în guvern, de fapt vanzarea relația lor cu oficiali guvernamentali pentru corporatii mari la utilizați pentru legile înclinarea în direcții lor.

    Aceasta se numește capitalism de cumetrie și ar trebui să fie ultimul lucru Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să facă, cu posibilitatea existentă de marile corporatii, folosind lobby pentru a înclina terenul de joc și oferindu-le avantaje față de corporații mici

    Ar fi interzis de la corporații lobby politicienilor?

    Da

    Lobbying by corporations usually means that they are looking to get tax cuts or other benefits to tilt the playing field in their direction. What makes the European Union different the United States is the fact that the EU believes there has to be competition in order to offer the lowest prices to consumer, compared to the United States where monopolies do exist.

    An example is television, internet, and telephone service, in Romania and the European Union, there is a choice from a variety of cable, satellite, and IPTV companies competing with each other for your business, because laws are formulated without the influence of these companies, ensuring fairness and competition.

    In the United States, a recent proposal to merge Comcast and Time Warner Cable would have resulted in a monopoly stretching from Maine, through Upstate New York, the Mid Atlantic states, the South, the Great Plains, and the West Coast. In effect a rural monopoly, where consumers can only choose one cable company or do without affordable television or internet service (telephone service also provided by local company), the nationwide opposition to such merger was matched by the large lobbying apparatus of the Comcast Corporation. Such a merger was averted due to opposition of the Department of Justice. But now Time Warner Cable will merge with Charter cable, which will still result in a monopoly in the rural areas of the State of New York and the Midwest. Now such a merger would still go through because of the combined lobbying power of Charter and Time Warner Cable, with many lobbyists being former top government officials, with friends in high places in government, in effect selling their relationship with government officials for large corporations to use for tilting laws in their directions. This is called crony capitalism and should be the last thing the European Union wants or needs, with the possibility existing of large corporations using lobbying to tilt the playing field and giving them advantages over smaller corporations

    Should corporations be banned from lobbying politicians?

    Yes

    • avatar
      Couturier Dominique

      Congratulations, for writting in two languages! It’s a shame, that only speakers of english can debate about Europe.

  38. avatar
    Jean-Jacques Eiza Lauture Descayrac

    Lobbying is normal. But it should controlled or reduce to a minimum in a balanced way with the civil society. To fully suppress the lobbying, is not democratic because it might make it, even worse or reinforce corruption, by nominating representatives or making elected politicians with double agendas. This already happened with US industries.

  39. avatar
    Seymour Wampler

    This means that if there is something that I don’t like, I can petition the government to change it. If I don’t have time to petition the government myself, I pay someone else to do it. This is lobbying. For example, when you join the NRA you are paying them to lobby on your behalf.

  40. avatar
    Rik

    Democracy, a failing political system that is subject to the whims of money. Representation of the people by the people from the people. Sortition not democracy.

  41. avatar
    Mathieu Sauzay

    Don’t let legislative work be driven by the 1% richest people!

    Ban the corporate lobbyists!

  42. avatar
    Oli Lau

    limit the power of the state on individuals and lobbying will be pointless. big government always attracts lobby groups. It gives a change to force people to do things they don’t want to through the state.

    No just corporations, all lobby groups. why should it be better if it is a religion or an union?

  43. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Lobbying = privileged advantages in influencing legislation – YES, it has to be banned!.

  44. avatar
    nando

    Lobbying = privileged advantages in influencing legislation and government decisions.

    – YES, it has to be banned!

  45. avatar
    Gosse Vuijk

    It is impossible to ban it because that would ultimately mean that politicians would no longer be allowed to talk to people. If you want to ban lobbying, you have to ban politicians, their staff and all civil servants from having a personal relations with anybody who could in any way be influenced by the laws that are created. Personal relations are at the heart of lobbying. I don’t think we want a political class ruling us without being allowed to interact with us. Lobbying can be a source of good developments but it can also work against society. So controlled lobbying is, in my opinion, the only realistic and desirable option. We don’t want to throw the good out with the bad. The problem is how to controle it. I believe journalism is the best check on lobbying, so we should make it as easy as possible for journalists to do their work.

    • avatar
      Coque-Lips Brexiteer

      You exaggerate, Gosse. Make lobbying illegal with severe penalties if caught.
      People can talk to each other, politicians shouldn’t be manipulated or manipulating, they should be collecting facts, making logical decisions, asking their constituents to vote on decisions, then voting in the national and EU parliaments, based on this result. If that doesn’t happen, why is the system so broken? Who cares about the convenience of corrupt systems to self-perpetuate? Who cares about the convenience of politicians who are well-paid and well-protected?
      Make paid representation to a politican a crime, simple as that. Make it so if someone pretends to be doing it voluntarily, but is caught, they are jailed for life. Make it SERIOUS. Dedicate police time to searching for and catching any people who think they’re clever and discreet enough to beat the law.
      THAT is the only way to defend democracy, to make sure the inner workings of the system are actually democratic! Never happened in human history, but why not? We like corruption too much? Progress is impossible? Is it?

  46. avatar
    Markus André

    The fact that such an issue is still up for debate is a reflection of the incredibly unjust and ridiculous times we live in.

  47. avatar
    Björn Eric Ingemar Grahn

    No lobbying should be allowed. The politicians must only look at the scientific facts when. They are taking their decision so no distraction can be allowed.

  48. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    Lobbying is corruption . EU made corruption legal . There are an estimated 30’000 lobbyists in Brussels.

  49. avatar
    Andrew Lally

    I dont have the time resources or skills to monitor all things that go through parliament so why should i be put at a democratic disadvantage just because of my lack of wealth? One vote one person is meant to equalise the playing field but lobbying is destroying democracy

  50. avatar
    Manuela Moura

    Why do we evan bother to go and vote, if weeks or even months lader the Lobbyists manage to pull through what we voted against???

    • avatar
      Jessie Miller

      Right, the people need to ban corruption, the officials and associations in the government themselves stand to profit. The governments themselves have no interest in dismissing the hands the feed them. Democracy is failing across the world because the entrenched systems have become corrupt. The only way to change this is to throw all the politicians out and start over. Don’t throw out the policies just the individuals, it would take time to get back to the level of corruption that it is at today. Then change the policies as needed. Bathroom bills are not of a concern for governments and wastes a tremendous amount of money and time that should be spent elsewhere. Only scholars should be the ones implementing policies, backed, by scientific evidence and analysis.

  51. avatar
    Athena Lambrinidou

    Before making up my mind I would like to know how lobbying practically works in the EU at the moment. Who gets to lobby a politician? How often? Does everybody from all sides of an argument get exactly the equal amount of time and access to all politicians? Are the lobbying meetings monitored? Minutes from them kept? Can everybody have access to these minutes?

  52. avatar
    Andrei B Tarnea

    No as business, including multinational corporations, are legitimate stakholders even if their current lobbying practices are less then ethical. Transparency, equal opportunity and a ban on corporate financing of poilitical campaign is a different question. Strict rules and strict enforcement is needed.

    • avatar
      Coque-Lips Brexiteer

      If businesses are so legitimate in the democratic process, let their internal policies be voted-on by their employees, or STFU and GTFO. “Stakeholders”… Try the John Lewis Group where the employees actually ARE the stakeholders. They’re the exception to the rule.
      IF businesses are so in need of good policy from politicians, perhaps they can make their business model NON-exploitative of employees (which takes intelligence, competent management, etc, not convenient nor necessarily popular or common in this world…) Then their employees would have a little more time to self-educate and might even vote and support the same goals as their business bosses. Of course, if the bosses are anti-employee, in effect, then they can never trust the employee to vote for their interests. But that’s their fault for being anti-democratic in their methods and business models, they don’t get a stake in democracy if that is their way: Fuck them. Pure capitalism is very close to a fascist monopoly-slavery.

  53. avatar
    Jessie Miller

    I believe lobbyist in the interests of larger companies and even nonprofits and GMO’s only consider their own points of view and try to relate how its relevant to the rest of society. Rarely is it beneficial to the external world outside the doors of the institutions it was pushed by. When the EU is affected it affects the US, and the rest of the countries. There is a very large network around the world pulling the strings making policies that do not represent people, but corporations and others that are not true constituents of their governments. The governments were set up to help govern the people, but, not for the corporations, are we missing something?

  54. avatar
    Ralph Stokes

    Yes lobbying in all forms should be banned. Lobbying = bribery + corruption regardless of wether you do it for a corporation or a trade union. Policy makes should use scientific fact to make decisions that are beneficial for the majority of people in the world.

  55. avatar
    Befzy

    It should be made illegal it is all about getting your companies own way by bribing the political establishment that is why we’re in such a mess in the E.U .

  56. avatar
    Coque-Lips Brexiteer

    Bilderberg should be mentioned. Davos. That kind of thing. Lobbying is one thing, but pre-planned global direction discussed in secret meetings? Also anti-democratic and also a serious potential threat. If the system is so corrupt, we need to cut out the rot, all of it. Or it only comes back.

  57. avatar
    Christine Dobbin

    Yes. Lobbying politicians should be banned. Politicians should use the latest scientific research to responsibly make the best choices for their country and the rest of the world, without the heavy influence of bribes. This is the only way forward.

  58. avatar
    SG

    Nothing gonna change because corporations will use “proxy” or “puppet” lobbysts.

    AI Robots should become politicans. You can’t bribe robots (only hack them)

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