Lobbying

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Lobbying as a word comes from the place the politics is done in, the lobby of an office.

Lobbying is influence work and communication that happens behind the
scenes of democracy. In lobbying, the representatives of interest groups try to influence in an unofficial manner the decision-makers who are crucial to a certain issue.

Through these activities, the representatives aim to affect the decision-making process that concerns the group they represent.

Lobbyists can represent for example corporations, consulting firms, interest groups or groups of citizens. Parties that are being lobbied can be policymakers, officials, the media or people with the opposite outlook on the issue.

A lobbyist strives to convince the decision-maker of the fact that the issue that they represent is important and worthwhile – sometimes even that the person being lobbied should in fact become a spokesperson for that very issue.

Lobbying is first and foremost trying to convince the other person by presenting strong arguments.

Lobbying is first and foremost trying to convince the other person by presenting strong arguments.

Lobbying has a bad reputation. It does not though, in principle, have anything to do with corruption or bribery.

On the other hand, lobbying can also influence work which is harmful and secretly supports the rights of the stronger or the richer party. This fear is reinforced by the so-called revolving door phenomenon, in which people in positions of power become lobbyists for the business life, and vice versa.

When understood in a positive sense, lobbying is the exchange of information and networking which is based on discussion, expertise and arguments.

European Union and the United States use a lobbying register, into which lobbyists enter the parties they are lobbying and the budgets they are doing it with.

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