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QoG lunch seminar with Andreea Nastase

Research profile seminar

The QoG Institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government, broadly defined as trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted and competent government institutions. The seminars address the theoretical and empirical problem of how political institutions of high quality can be created and maintained as well as the effects of Quality of Government on a number of policy areas, such as health, the environment, social policy, and poverty.

The seminars are in English if nothing else is indicated.

An ethics for the lobbying profession? The role of private associations in defining and codifying behavioural standards for lobbyists in the EU

The regulation of lobbying activities nowadays represents an internationally recognized standard of good governance. Such measures usually consist of mandatory public registers of lobbyists, meant to increase public scrutiny and account-holding over the activities of lobbyists in the political and policy arena. In parallel to public regulation, industry-led initiatives have proliferated in recent years, in the form of private codes of conduct sponsored by professional lobbyists¿ associations. In the European Union (EU) alone, such organizations now exist in 13 member states (see Bitonti and Harris 2017). However, existing research on lobbying regulation has focused on public regimes and largely ignored these developments. The article addresses this research gap by systematically exploring the role played by professional lobbyists¿ associations in defining and codifying standards of ethical behaviour for lobbyists. Taking as a case study the European Union, which is home to two such organizations, the article reveals a path-dependent process: responding to the threat of public regulation, the industry created codes of conduct which sought to reassure the EU institutions of lobbyists' integrity as participants in the policy process. Being ´ethical´ was therefore equivalent to not exercising a corrupting influence over public officials or the public decision-making process - a framing which was only reinforced by the eventual establishment of public lobby registers. The result is that codes meant to guide ´professional´ lobbyists neglect their obligations towards those whose interests they represent, even though the relationship between professionals and the beneficiaries of their services is central to the ethics of any profession.

Lecturer: Andreea Nastase, Assistant Professor in European Public Policy Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University

Date: 2/5/2020

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Organizer: The Quality of Government Institute

Location: Stora Skansen (B336), Sprängkullsgatan 19

Contact person: Alice Johansson

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