Lobby Non Olet (lobbying does not stink) proposals
The #LobbyNonOlet. Lobbying Pride Day was held in Milan on 6 October 2017. Telos A&S organised the meeting under the aegis of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy.
During the meeting several tangible proposals emerged about how to tackle the challenges faced by lobbyists. One very topical proposal was political party funding. Simone Crolla from the American Chamber of Commerce suggested that Italy test the PAC (Political Action Committee) formula, specific to all activities of campaign finance in the United States.
Political Action Committees can be used to finance a political party or a cause supported by several political groups. The American Chamber of Commerce has created a working group to analyse the idea and find the best way to implement it in Italy. AmCham believes that once a PAC is created it could be used to clarify political party funding and make more targeted; it could also be an incentive to encourage politics to focus more on ideas and achieve specific goals within a deadline.
On this issue Telos A&S submitted a proposal that anyone involved with fundraising on behalf of political parties cannot be a lobbyist, and vice versa.
Apart from Simone Crolla, participants in the meeting included Riccardo Nencini, Vice-Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Michele Corradino, Commissioner at the National Anti-Corruption Authority, and Rafaele Tiscar, Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Environment. Mariella Palazzolo and Marco Sonsini represented Telos A&S and, in line with the practical spirit of the meeting, described two case studies: environmental compliance in the cruise ship industry, and access to innovative health care regarding cataract surgery.
A light blue scarf was chosen as the symbol of the meeting. In the words of Mariella Palazzolo it is the “symbol of a lobbyists’ pride in their job, one which they perform professionally and in full compliance with the rules”. She appealed to the authoritative Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Treccani asking it to replace the term “influence” with “representation” in the entry “lobby” in its encyclopaedia and vocabulary. In fact, all the participants repeatedly reiterated the concept that lobbying never involves applying pressure, but representing interests. Institutions always have the last word.