Burson-Marsteller launches a Europe-wide lobbying report, based on a survey conducted in collaboration with Penn, Schoen & Berland (PSB)
Press releases • 12th October 2009
Brussels, 12 October, 2009 – Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications consultancy, today released a survey on attitudes of European political and policy elites across 15 European countries and the Brussels policy community towards lobbying. The study found wide variations in different countries in the way European political elites view and accept lobbying as a part of the governmental decision-making process.
Across Europe 48% of political elites believe that lobbying makes a positive contribution to the democratic process. This percentage was considerably higher in countries like Hungary and Italy where 67% of respondents felt that lobbying has a positive. However, in Poland just 3% of elites feel that lobbying has a positive impact on democracy.
“The tremendous variation in the way the political class of different European countries view lobbying has clear implications for the way lobbyists need to operate in these countries,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller EMEA, at the launch of the report today in Brussels. “This survey increases our knowledge of effective lobbying techniques and provides a useful guide to the perceptions of politicians and officials in Europe. The report also underscores the need for lobbyists to be transparent.”
Participating in the launch of the survey, Vice-President Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for Administration, Audit and Anti-Fraud, stated that “This report gives lobbyists an insight into what techniques and channels are most effective: it shows that public officials are more likely to listen to transparent lobbyists with a targeted message in their field of interest. That reassures me, and should reassure the public.” Commissioner Kallas contributed the foreword to the survey.
This is the fourth Burson-Marsteller survey to focus on lobbying, however this report expands coverage to 15 national European countries and Brussels from the EU-institutional focus in the three previous reports. This survey is based on over 500 interviews carried out by Penn, Schoen & Berland (PSB) on behalf of Burson-Marsteller and our partners in six of the European countries surveyed, during the period February to July 2009. The interviews involved a basic series of 18 questions to identify perceptions among policy elites about lobbying and lobbyists. They were conducted either online, by phone or face-to-face with politicians (both Members of national Parliaments (MPs) and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)) and senior officials from national governments and the European institutions.
Transparency is also a major theme of the survey. Sixty-four percent of all respondents across Europe believe that lobbyists must clearly identify themselves and their interest in any lobby group (industry or NGO) is a pre-requisite by a majority of national and EU-level regulators a declaration of interest to meet with the lobby. However, there was again differing results from country-to-country. In Spain only 26% of respondents thought transparency a pre-requisite compared to 83% in Greece.
The findings also point to a much greater effectiveness on the part of industry when compared to NGO lobbying in all industry sectors with the exception of consumer goods, food & drink where both are equally effective. Trade associations come out as the most effective lobbying group, followed by trade unions and companies. NGOS follow in fourth place just ahead of public affairs consultancies.
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Burson-Marsteller (www.burson-marsteller.com and www.burson-marsteller.eu), established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and programme execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, advertising and web-related services. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 72 offices and 58 affiliate offices, together operating in 83 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP, one of the world’s leading communications services networks.
About Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB)
Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (www.psbresearch.com), a member of the WPP group and part of Burson-Marsteller, is a global research-based consultancy that specialises in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip political, corporate and entertainmentclients. PSB has over 30 years of experience specialising in bringing the lessons from the political campaign trail into the corporate boardroom to give clients the strategic insights they need to beat the competition. PSB has worked on nearly 200 political campaigns and has been personal political and strategic advisor to more than 30 heads of state or prime ministers.
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