Navigating the European Union system is complicated. Lobbyists face a monumental task in simply trying to figure out where to focus their efforts. Because EU member states do not share the same underlying ideological and economic interests, it is equally important, if not more important to concentrate on the capitals and if you want a positive outcome, you must have the message coming from the member states.

The golden rule of EU lobbying is to get four things right: timing, intelligence, targeting and sensitivity.

Due to the high number of players and the fact that the EU policy-making process is drawn out and consensus-based, technical knowledge and a good case are more important than political connections. What is certain, however, is that a lot of insiders' knowledge is required to be effective and in this respect the role of AALEP is to act as communicator, coordinator and facilitator on behalf of its members. Indeed, lobbying is at root a process of successful interpersonal communications. You need to know where power actually lies and you need to adapt as political circumstances and power relationships change. With the power in the hands of so many, to be effective you need to lobby the right people who work with senior EU decision-makers and AALEP's job is to help its members identify and approach the right people.

Add new comment