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. Male name. Plural lobbies. Pressure group that aims to influence decisions based on 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 U.S. Congressman. 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 chairman, Bernard Accoyer, the National Assembly has recently adopted a code of conduct on lobbying (See page XX). In doing so, the French elected recognize the reality of this practice in the Palais Bourbon. Manufacturers of light bulbs, television executives, the 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 a direct contact with the policy. The study days organized in the National Assembly are used to support these practices. We know, we recognize. It is much easier when the member was himself employee group that seeks to convince himself or former lobbyist as Frédéric Lefebvre, a former leader of Pic Council lobbying firm of Paris instead. 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 has been recruited by the TRCs, a lobby pro-mix white wine wine Red Velvet 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 change.


When the phenomenon of caste is not enough, we invite. Then exchanged small gifts against minor amendments. The company lobbyist can even write text instead of parliamentary like TF1 in the context of the reform of public broadcasting. One is never better served than by oneself saying goes that reveals an undeniable relevance here.

The outside lobbying, meanwhile, research influence in the periphery of the usual circles. The target here is the public which are sensitive, and for good reason, elect. Public relations, media relations, advertising campaign in the media, the idea is to guide public opinion, citizens, to take a stand ... or not. This is 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. Multinationals that members Oudin Santini and familiar to rub regularly in the World Water Council.

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

On lobbying, France is similar or the United States of America or the European Union. Neither the United States because, unlike their American counterparts, French parliamentarians do not have private funds to finance their election campaigns. The € 3.4 billion spent in the space of ten years by the health lobbies in the U.S. would be incongruous in France. Neither Europe. If national parliaments retain sufficient powers for lobbies continue to be interested, the true place making within the EU Brussels. There's even lobbyists mandated by the U.S. government to influence European legislation in favor of U.S. interests! Before subjects more technical and less political, the risk is that the discussion be confiscated by experts substituting representatives. The complexity of the laws, their diversity, their numbers also make opaque to the general public and permeable practices lobbies many debates. If in a democratic society of transparency is not necessarily a corollary of the trust, the first seems indispensable to remain second. This implies an ethics of lobbying with the objective of bridging the doubts and reduce suspicions. A confidence against a conscience, when a Hippocratic Oath lobbying?

Box 1. History of lobbying

Is attributed to U.S. President Ulysses Grant, hero of the Civil War, popularizing the term lobbyist. In 1869, Grant became president. White House destroyed by fire a few years ago, can not accommodate it. He finds refuge in a hotel, the Willard. The new toured Washington and all those who have something to ask him come in the lobby (lobby) Hotel find. 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 private. This can cause problems when in the exercise of his former duties he had to control the 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. Occasionally formal or 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 said:

    Funny ... I read in the book of Eric Eugene 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 a fully economic in nature. Thereby, in effect, pantouflage is valid only for lobbyists economic interest, which is not valid in any other case.

  2. [...] Is an interesting question. To learn more, read this article written by yours truly and published in the book Lobby Planet Paris article. It is also the [...]

  3. Anonymous said:

    Hello 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 in respect of the shares of general interest. But the debate remains open.

  4. [...] Counter lobbies water, several associations multiply actions. In Anticor is crowdfunding [...]

  5. doudou said:

    It does not seem logical to consider that the lobyy can be done within the framework of the general interest. Let me explain: the companies in charge of public service and a monopoly or quasi-monopoly can not be lobbying for a very simple reason, they can not to lobby their quintessence, namely the power policy. And I agree with the position of E. Eugene considers that the lobby is when economic and financial issues apparaissent.En Indeed, many example lobbying that led to financial success but few are lobby be able to defend the public interest. Any interest group is composed 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 .

  6. [...] "The Challenge to Democracy lobbying? "Three seminars reflection and debate in the National Assembly June 1, 2010 2 views No Comments Here is the reproduction of a press release CAL network and adequations about a seminar on lobbying. [...]