Lobbying: a dialogue with public authorities
Lobbying, let us not forget, involves a dialogue with elected officials and administrations to express one’s views and share some expertise. The objective is to enable public authorities to better supervise the sector for which they are responsible, avoiding any direct or indirect negative effects, and to enable stakeholders to better promote and protect their interests.
Stopping everything after an OJ publication?
When a legal or regulatory provision is decided or voted, promulgated and published in the Official Journal, should this dialogue continue? In other words, should the lobbying stop at that point? What is the value of lobbying when a provision (that has been desired or opposed to) has just come into effect? These are questions that we are asked regularly.
The legislative and regulatory environment always evolve
There is no only and unique valid answer for each case. Each one is specific, so is the approach. But here is a fundamental principle: the dialogue with public authorities (elected officials and administrations) must not stop. It must continue, in one form or another. The economic environment is a living universe and therefore in perpetual evolution. The same is true of the rules that govern each sector. A law today does not prevent a decree tomorrow and a new law the day after tomorrow! And the legislation is increasingly crossed: medical devices, for example, are affected by many texts that do not all fall under the responsibility of the Health Ministry!
A concrete case
In 2008, the French wage-carrying sector (born in the 1980s) was legalized, which now allows about 86,000 people to practice their profession under specific conditions and regulated by law. This recognition, once given by the French public authorities, could have been the end of the dialogue. However, lobbying remains more than ever necessary. It turns out that, despite these legislative provisions, the administrative doctrine of social and tax regulation is not always very clear. Uncertainties remain and have, according to some stakeholders, led to diverging interpretations even among Urssaf inspectors. That is why the dialogue with the French public authorities is ongoing so that everyone can benefit: employees, wage carriers, administrations and elected officials.
Dialogue, over and over
This example illustrates, among many others, the importance of continuing dialogue and lobbying with elected officials and administrations. The enactment of a legislative or regulatory provision does not solve everything: it opens the door to different interactions, always at the service of pragmatism and the protection of stakeholders’ interests.
Ludovic Espitalier-Noël – www.influences-reputation.com