Lobbying: What Framework for Enhancing Transparency?

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This article highlights the key findings of a recent OECD survey on existing legislation and government regulations to shed light upon the “mystery” of lobbying. It also presents building blocks, based on acknowledged good practice, for developing governance arrangements to enhance transparency, accountability and integrity in lobbying. Setting standards and rules for enhancing transparency in lobbying, however, has proved to be very difficult because it can also be a politically sensitive issue. The article highlights approaches, models and examples of existing legislation and government regulations and offers insights on the evolution of lobby legislation in their particular socio-political and administrative contexts, as rules on lobbying have developed incrementally as part of a political learning process. Lobbying ist mittlerweile eine Realität in weiten Teilen der Welt und wird sowohl von politischen Entscheidern mittlerweile als ein wichtiger Bestandteil der politischen Entscheidungsfindung als auch von Unternehmen, Interessenverbänden und Nichtregierungsorganisationen als wichtiges Vehikel der Interessenartikulation angesehen. Dessen ungeachtet wird Lobbying auch zunehmend als eine Aushebelung demokratischer Entscheidungsfindung verstanden. Der vorliegende Artikel diskutiert auf Basis einer Umfrage der OECD in ihren 30 Mitgliedsländern und „Best Practice“-Beispielen, wie durch Modelle von „Good Governance“ Interessen artikuliert werden können, ohne demokratische Entscheidungsfindung zu unterwandern.

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... To keep these advantages and at the same time address freeriding behaviour, several scholars advocate for more transparency around tax lobbying (Brosens & Bossuyt, 2020;Christians, 2017). Such transparency has been associated with ethical and democratic traditions (Ostas, 2007), good governance (Bertók, 2009;Brosens & Bossuyt, 2020;Christians, 2017), and corporate social responsibility (Anastasiadis et al., 2018;Bauer, 2014;Gribnau & Jallai, 2017). However, references to ethical behaviour as a normative basis for transparency remain vague and, consequently, leave room for doubt and counterarguments. ...
... Thirdly, previous research has noted that so far transparency in lobbying is poorly specified and that it remains unclear what should be transparent (Anastasiadis et al., 2018). Literature suggests disclosure legislation according to which lobbyists have to register and lobbying activities have to be reported (Bertók, 2009;Crepaz, 2017;Rival & Major, 2018). Several countries have introduced such legislation. ...
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Multinationals’ aggressive tax lobbying that involves free-riding behaviour and results in disproportional benefits to the disadvantage of other taxpayers, is problematic for several reasons. Such lobbying undermines the legitimacy of tax legislation and has a negative impact on trust in the tax system. Based on Immanuel Kant’s ethical theory, this article first suggests a new normative basis for a moral duty that requires multinationals and their leaders to be transparent about their political activities and tax lobbying. Next, it introduces a new concept of transparency in respect of tax lobbying. ‘Deliberative transparency’ requires multinationals and their leaders not only to be open about their reasons for tax lobbying, but also to deliberate with stakeholders and, maybe even more importantly, to provide evidence supporting their lobbying positions. Finally, based on these new understandings, additional government interventions against aggressive tax lobbying are suggested, for example mandatory stakeholder consultation, reporting on stakeholder attitudes and perception, and evidence-based lobbying requirements.
... However to build strong rules on one hand and transparent ones on the other, for all subjects in the industry, is not easy, but is possible. Transparent rules support "fairness" conditions for the profession/activity and can guarantee to some extent also the process aspects of lobbying activity as many academics argue ( [10], [3], [11], [14], [9] and others). Current regulatory approaches do not always go this way -there are various measures introduced to deal somehow (directly or indirectly) with lobbying, they are poorly linked with each other (isolated measures) and the systemic approach is lacking. ...
Conference Paper
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Although the topic of lobbying attracts many scholars and activists, the evaluation of its quality is underdeveloped. The paper's aim is to propose a comprehensive catalogue of key measures of transparent lobbying that offers the space for later evaluation of the transparency of lobbying regulation and activities for discussion. The authors employed the qualitative analysis of existing approaches, namely the evaluation of " hard " lobbying regulation by the Centre for Public Integrity and recommendations of " transparency " measures by various international organisations, and finally propose their own set (catalogue) of measures that employs both the hard direct rules on lobbying, but also the indirect rules linked to lobbying, and informal rules and voluntary activities are also included.
Publicity and transparency are two foundational ideas about the proper structure of democratic communication. In a context of utterly transformed public discourse, it is time to rethink the value of these concepts and especially their relationship to one another. This special issue aims to test prevailing assumptions about these terms as they are reshaped in the present era of organized promotional culture. To begin, the present introduction recasts the concepts of publicity and transparency as tools for analyzing and organizing communicative power rather than as normative ideals in their own right. To this end, we present three core arguments for rethinking transparency and publicity today. First, all acts of transparency entail a redistribution of communicative power but not an inherently egalitarian or democratic one. Second, publicity is the central means by which transparency distributes communicative power. And third, scholars must analyze transparency, like publicity, as a professionalized and industrialized field. By centering questions of power and practice, this special issue aims to animate a research agenda attentive to the relational character of both transparency and publicity in hopes of foregrounding the ways the concepts might be used in service of more equitable political alignments.
Das Thema Politikberatung hat in den vergangenen Jahren zunehmend Beachtung gefunden und wichtige wissenschaftliche Debatten über die zugrunde liegenden Theorien und Konzepte ausgelöst. Im vorliegenden Beitrag wird die These der Autoren verteidigt, dass sich in Deutschland parallel zu den klassischen dezisionistischen Beratungsstrukturen eine Variante der Politikberatung entwickelt hat, die auf dauerhafter diskursiv-kooperativer Interaktion zwischen Beratern und Beratenen beruht. Das durch solche Beratung gewonnene Wissen ist nicht nur externe Legitimationsquelle oder Entscheidungsgrundlage. Es ist vielmehr im politischen Prozess verankert und kann Wirkung entfalten, sofern es den Gütekriterien der epistemischen und politischen Robustheit genügt. In recent years, the field of political consulting and policy advice has gained growing attention and, thus, has been subject of important debates regarding its key concepts and theoretical foundations. This paper sets out to defend the authors' original thesis which has been challenged in the course of these debates. We argue that, along with classical oneway modes of consultation, a new way of interaction between political decision makers and consultants has emerged. The knowledge deriving from these cooperative discourses is not merely an external source for the preparation and legitimation of political decisions. It is integral part of the policy process and may unfold its potential as long as it meets the standards of epistemic and political robustness. SchlüsselwörterPolitikberatung-Politikzyklus-Nutzung von Wissen-Staatlichkeit KeywordsPolitical consulting and policy advice-Policy cycle-Use of knowledge-Statehood
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