What Does a Lobbyist Do?
A lobbyist generally performs a wide range of functions, but the most notable are the following:
Lobbying often involves possessing specific knowledge about complex areas of regulation. To name a few, lobbying can occur with regards to packaging requirements, product safety, intellectual property, fair trading, civil rights, economic and environmental issues, energy, technology, finance, agriculture, fisheries, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, travel services, transportation and mobility, drone regulation, electronic cigarettes, genetically modified food, internet data privacy, banking, climate change, fracking, tobacco regulation, pesticides regulation… And the list goes on and on.
Due to the complexity of legislation and regulation, lobbyists play an important role by contributing with unique expertise and insight that often turns out to be essential for achieving good regulations. By being able to voice their opinions and petition the government, lobbyists work actively to improve the quality of law-making and make decision-makers more accountable to the public.
Even though public perception regarding the role of lobbyists or interest groups may be negative, lobbying is a rational response to problems arising from the fact that EU policy-makers are often understaffed, pressed for time, and have knowledge deficits regarding the expertise, specialist and technical information required to make complex legislative decisions.
Lobbying thus plays a vital function in healthy democratic systems, being an essential part of the law-making process as a means through which outside interests can engage with lawmakers providing them a plurality of political and technical information that they wouldn't come across in any other way.