How did things turn out at the Bea Café? Are lobbyists beautiful, good and useful?
Let’s start on a happy note. Standing room only at the Bea Café on 14 March.
And yet the subject was lobbying, definitely not a popular topic.
However the host, Andrea Ballarini, can be counted on to be serious, as can the agent provocateur Flavia Trupia.
In short, Mariella Palazzolo (Telos A&S) was in good company.
But what did they talk about?
Andrea Ballarini started by saying: ‘We’ve all got a rather stereotyped idea about lobbying; people taking part in restricted meetings behind closed doors, discussing and deciding the destiny of the world. Instead, what does lobbying really involve?’
Palazzolo replied, saying: it involves something totally different. ‘Lobbying’ means taking part in a decision-making process. But in the end the decision is taken by governing bodies (from the smallest municipality to the European Commission). Lobbyists help interest groups to present the competent Institutions with their own point of view, proposal or standpoint on a rule or regulation’.
Trupia commented: ‘Linguistically speaking the word lobby is linked to a linguistic duo, i.e., powerful lobby. And this makes it all the more important to clarify who is a bona fide lobbyist and what does he/she do’.
‘Exert pressure? – replied Palazzolo. Then think about this: how can one “exert pressure”? It’s possible only if you have something to offer in return, threats you can carry through with, friendships, or the possibility to exploit collusion. Do any of the above reflect the context in which a lobbyist works? NO. A lobbyist is a professional who represents interests and has no other leverage except the forceful, reasonable arguments’.
Ballarini asked: ‘So, do people have to skilled?’
Trupia reacted to this question and answered: ‘I truly believe that to be a lobbyist you have to be someone who works hard day and night’.
Palazzolo confirmed this and gave several examples of when her job forced her to perform in-depth studies of the most diverse and varied subjects.
But during the meeting, did anyone mention that Remy Danton, the lobbyist of House of Cards, is actually quite handsome?
You decide for yourselves.