Two Problems with Lobbying Regulations in EEA Countries

Vit Šimral


This paper addresses the question of the major challenges for the regulation of lobbying in the European Economic Area countries. It attempts to disentangle this complex question by focusing, step by step, on three specific issues. First, the problem of the definition of lobbying, or the lack of one, is considered. The paper argues that even though European countries started to regulate lobbying already two decades ago, they have still not managed to arrive at a useful definition of the field and activity of lobbying itself, which considerably hinders their pro-transparency regulatory efforts. Second, the paper looks at other anti-corruption legislation in Europe and its links with lobbying rules. The evidence is inconclusive as to whether the level of corruption is significantly affected by the presence or lack of lobbying regulation. Finally, the paper shows that there is a noticeable weakness in the existing lobbying regulations in European countries in terms of enforcement. Without strengthening the enforcement mechanisms of lobbying laws, there will be no significant shift towards a better-regulated and more transparent lobbying environment in Europe.


lobbying; corruption; regulations; European Economic Area; post-communism

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