The practice of lobbying provides a forum for the resolution of conflicts among often diverse and competing points of view; provides information, analysis, and opinion to legislators and government leaders to allow for informed and balanced decision making; and creates a system of checks and balances that allows for competition among interest groups, keeping any one group from attaining a permanent position of power. Lobbyists can help the legislative process work more effectively by providing lawmakers with reliable data and accurate assessments of a proposal’s  effect. The size and complexity of the EU system have, in large part, driven the need for lobbyists to help define positions on issues of public policy. Moreover, on all issues of widespread concern, lobbyists are found on both sides, producing one more set of checks and balances that undercuts the simplistic picture of corruption and favoritism. Of course,  Lobbyists have a place in the legislative process and they must be prevented from using money and favors improperly to influence legislators and their staffs. However, le’s not develop rules that can impair the democratic process. AALEP holds the view that the articulation of any lobbying rules - must be fair, even-handed and non-discriminatory; - must be clear and unambiguous so persons subject to the requirements can readily understand what is necessary; - must not infringe on EU citizens' rights to communicate their views directly or though a professional advocate to Members of the European Parliament; - must NOT UNDULY RESTRICT THE RIGHTS OF THOSE ENGAGED IN LOBBYING WORK TO PRACTICE THEIR PROFESSION; - must not impose penalties that are excessive or unreasonable in view of infractions involved; - must not impose unecessary burdensome record keeping reporting and compliance mandates. Let us remember that the European Parliament is voted for by EU citizens and is therefore linked to the 'will of the people'   

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