Lobbying. What is it? Who does?

I had the pleasure of participating in the writing of the book "Lobby Planet Paris" . Following one of my papers.

Discover the summary of the book here.

"Lobby. Noun. Plural lobbies. Pressure group that aims to influence decision-making according to their interests. " Behind the literal dictionary definition hides the diversity of the nature of lobbying. latter is the result of a coordinated set of actions from a group of individuals or organizations. But the real question is not so much who holds the reins in their modes of action and their compliance with the democratic principles of our societies. We are all potential influencers, but all lobbies are not equal in terms of power and resources. Today it is a profession, a profession that can be learned, and whose effectiveness is measured.

In Washington DC, the capital of the United States, there are 77 lobbyists for American parliamentarian. In Brussels, more than 15,000 professional influencers roam the corridors of the commission and parliament. In Paris, the reality is less quantifiable. The practice of lobbying in France is less institutionalized, almost ashamed, often hidden. Things could change. Under the leadership of its president, Bernard Accoyer, the National Assembly has recently adopted a code of conduct on lobbying (See page XX). In doing so, the French elected officials recognize the reality of this practice in the Palais Bourbon. Manufacturers of light bulbs, television executives, nuclear industry, eventually all those with vested interests, have made a specialty of getting under their gauntlet amendments, laws, orders, when they were not themselves the cause.

Inside and outside lobbying

Lobbying activities can be classified into two broad categories: inside and outside lobbying. The first is to promote a cause directly from the maker. The influence going on here by direct contact with the policy. The study days organized in the National Assembly are used to support these practices. We know each other, we recognize. It is much easier when the member was himself employee group seeking to convince himself or former lobbyist as Frédéric Lefebvre, a former leader of Peak Council, the lobbying of the Paris market. The doctor will represent the medical world. Primum non nocere. First do no harm ... its interests. Ditto for his chosen wine regions gathered in the National Association of Elected wine (ANEV) (See page XX). And when his opinion leaders do not exist, they must be invented. Thus, Sylvain Naulin recently recruited by the TRCs, a lobby pro-mix white wine wine roug- e to make rosé, which resulted in the ire of producers of this wine against the European proposal. A few months ago, Sylvain Naulin was a member of the cabinet of the Minister of Agriculture ... to negotiate this legislative development.


When the phenomenon of caste is not enough, we invite. Then exchanged small gifts against small amendments. The company lobbyist can even write text instead of parliamentary like TF1 as part of the reform of public broadcasting. One is never better served than by oneself saying goes that proves undeniably relevant here.

The outside lobbying, meanwhile, research influence in the periphery of the usual circles. The target here is the public that is sensitive, and for good reason, elected officials. Public relations, media relations, advertising campaign in the media, the idea is to guide public opinion, citizens, to take a stand ... or not. That's what Areva has been very successful to the Niger (See page XX). In the case of the Oudin-Santini law (See page XX) is the measure on international cooperation that has been put forward to promote a very conscious act of the interests of multinational water. Multinational MPs Oudin Santini and familiar to rub shoulders regularly in the World Water Council.

0 Le lobbying. Quest ce que cest ? Qui le fait ?

On lobbying, France resembles neither the United States of America or the European Union. Neither the United States because, unlike their American counterparts, the French parliament do not need private money to finance their election campaigns. The € 3.4 billion spent in the space of ten years by the lobbies of Health in the USA would be incongruous in France. Nor Europe. If national parliaments retain sufficient powers to the lobbies continue to be interested in the real place-making in the EU's Brussels. There's even lobbyists mandated by the American government to influence European legislation in favor of US interests! Before subjects become more technical and less political, the risk is that the discussion be confiscated by experts replacing the representatives. The complexity of the laws, their diversity, their numbers also make opaque to the general public and GP practices lobbies many debates. If in a democratic society transparency is not necessarily a corollary of the trust, the first seems indispensable to remain second. This assumes an ethical lobbying with the objective to bridge the doubts and suspicions decrease. Confidence against a conscience, when a Hippocratic Oath lobby?

Box 1: History of lobbying

Attributed to the American President Ulysses Grant, hero of the Civil War, popularizing the term lobbyist. In 1869, Grant became president. The White House was destroyed by fire a few years ago, can not accommodate it. He finds refuge in a hotel, the Willard. The news made the rounds in Washington and all those who have something to ask him come in the lobby (lobby) of the hotel to find it. Lobbyists so frequent the hotel lobby. So much for the story. Britain already, where the term refers to lobby the corridors of parliament was called lobbyists, these influencers wandering the corridors of the British Parliament.

Box 2: Glossary

Pantouflage. This is the action for a former senior official to go to private school. This can cause problems when in the exercise of his former position he had to control the line of business of the new company.

Study Group.'s National Assembly in a hundred. The Senate just under thirty. Everyone brings together parliamentarians on specific themes: Arctic, vineyards, chestnut or coastline.

Networking. On the occasion of formal and informal meetings, members of a network, organized around a theme, to meet and exchange information, advice, services, recommendations ...

  • gmail Le lobbying. Quest ce que cest ? Qui le fait ?


  1. David says:

    Funny ... I read in the book of Eric Eugene that the real lobbying, it is first groups that try to influence to "economic interests" or financial and strictly!

    So out the idea of ​​gay lobby, Jewish, green, etc ... The lobby has an entirely economic. Hence, in fact, the revolving door is valid only for lobbyists to economic interest, which is not valid in other cases.

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  3. Anonymous said:

    Good evening David
    The definition of lobbying in France remains unclear. It can indeed be defined as the action of influence (in the professional sense), but by extension it becomes the action of influence including as regards the actions of general interest. But the debate continues.

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  5. Doudou said:

    It does not seem logical to assume that the lobyy can be done as part of the general interest. Let me explain: the companies in charge of public service mission and a monopoly or near-monopoly are not lobbying for a very simple reason, they can not to lobby their quintessence, namely the power policy. So I joined the E.Eugène position that considers the lobby is when the economic and financial issues apparaissent.En effect, many Example lobbying that led to financial success, but few are the lobby have been able to defend the public interest. Any interest group consists of a certain mode of representation, and there is much to suggest that the possible lobyy when it comes to the public interest can only be done by a representative: the people .

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