The Registry of Lobbyists is back. Marco Sonsini shares his views on MAG
Lobbyists: is the Registry the answer to the wrong question?
One step forward and one back. This is how we could tell, in a nutshell, the never-ending story of the Registry of Lobbyists, or better, of the many Registries of lobbyists in place in Italy.
So, what are these Registries really for?
Let us be clear: we at Telos A&S enrolled in both the Registry of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Registry of the Chamber of Deputies. Still, we do not think they are useful: we are not afraid of them, but we consider them as an ambiguous answer to a wrong question.
The real problem is that we do too little lobbying in Italy, not too much. We totally subscribe to the view expressed by Michele Corradino in his book “It’s normal … everybody does it”:
“Businesses do have constant relations with politicians, but such relations rest on personal connections. Bigger enterprises and industry associations have no problem accessing the corridors of power, others rely on friends to reach out to politicians, bureaucrats and civil servants.”
Here’s the point: too often, market operators do not represent their interests or put forward their proposals, they just ask for favours.
What we need to avoid this is to ensure that all stakeholders (businesses, consumers, professionals, citizens etc.) have equal and early access to political decisions affecting the market.
Instead, if we keep focusing all our efforts on the establishment of Registries of lobbyists, we will not make any step forward towards more transparent decision-making processes.
On 11 April, Telos A&S will discuss about these topics and many others with colleagues, politicians and representatives of the Institutions in the Workshop “Profession lobbyist: resource or embarrassing presence?” which will take place in Rome, on the sidelines of the 2017 Salone della Giustizia. Not the usual conference, in our hopes, but a chance to discuss together on the role and the value added of professional lobbyists.
Here is Marco Sonsini’s article published on MAG, the Magazine of LegalcommunityDownload it here