Lobby transparency in Romania
Transparency in the lobbying activity is a problem of the industry on a global level, not only in Romania, being one of the topics that has direct effects on the natural development of this activity, along with other issues such as ethical standards and anti-corruption rules, the formation of lobbyists and, perhaps the most serious of the difficulties, the image of lobbying activity.
A bad image of the lobbying in a particular country affects the image of all the lobbyists and the trust of the citizens. Transparency means trust from the people that the lobbyist abide by the law – this clearly add up a good image to the whole industry.
Regarding the situation of the lobbyists in Romania, they will have to find a fair and pragmatic level of transparency in the practices of lobbying, defining the typology of information that is required to be disclosed, given the rigor imposed by the listed investors. scholarships and codes of ethics of lobbyists that oblige the confidentiality of certain business information obtained from clients.
Under these conditions, the inclusion of the lobby in a coherent way of recognition in order to gain a well-deserved place in the political system should be one of the priorities of the government, following the European tendencies. As we already talked about it in a previous post, the lobbying activity in Brussels, at the heart of the European Union, is a very dynamic one, recognized by the European Union officials as a necessity for the democratic process.
The impact of the evolution of technology on the lobbying activity
The technological process in the sphere of the Internet has radically contributed to the accessibility of politicians to the general public. The debate in our country around lobbying activities also suggests an insufficient maturity of the political class. The lobby will be professionalized only to the extent that those who practice it will understand that it is a more complex activity that involves a strategic analysis of the political system and the entire decision-making process. To be successful, lobbyists need to understand and adapt to the political system within which they perform. Basically, we are witnessing the passage from the lobby in the halls and rooms to a lobby activity in a virtual space. Influencing factors of lobby in Romania Another important factor that influences the quality of the lobby and also the quality of the lobbyists in Romania is represented by the public life and the politicians. Voters are extremely important to politicians as well as lobbyists. Lobbyists’ argumentation is often focused on the benefits of lobbying on voters, the general public. Successful lobbyists are first and foremost very good communicators, able to use their communication and analytical skills to produce credible arguments. Lobbyists need to return to the emotional billing arguments, which concern the human sensitive side. In addition to the ethical principles of the lobbyist profession that should be promoted through their own codes of ethics, corporations have their share of responsibility in creating a fair space of action for lobbyists in relation to decedents. In other words, large corporations in Romania should assume their own codes of conduct that have principles regarding relations with lobbyists or principles that relate to donations to politicians, parties, or other political organizations.
The lobbying activity helps to maintain and improve public trust, but also the trust in the democratic institutions and in the representation process of public politics. The lobbying activity in Romania should be clearly defined, with the difference between the conduct of this professional activity and the activities of the civil society organizations. It clearly distinguishes between a legitimate action and an act of corruption: the lobby is a central and legitimate part of the democratic process within the framework of the liberal democratic systems.