Membership in the Association of Accredited Public Policy Advocates  to the European Union is extended on an invitation-only basis. To be invited, prospective members must be recognized by their peers, clients and employers for their outstanding professional achievement, impeccable judgement, and commitment to integrity in the field of interest representation/public policy advocacy.

Advocacy is speaking on behalf of one’s cause and is an effort to shape public perception or to effect change that may or may not require changes in the law. Advocates are individuals who publicly represent an organization or cause with the object of persuading targeted audience to look favourably on- or accept the point of view of the organization or the cause. Lobbying is a focused form of advocacy that shapes public policy in arenas of influence at the local, national, European or global level by persuading individuals or groups with decision-making power to support a given position. Lobbying is the attempted or successful influence of legislative-administrative decisions by public authorities through interested representatives. The influence is intended, implies the use of communication and is targeted on legislative and executive bodies.

Public Policy Advocates perform three primary functions:

1. disseminate information for crafting legislation to legislators and their staff. 

2. aggregate public opinion around major issues affecting their clients. 

3. help set the political agenda by creating coalitions to support or oppose specific proposals.

Public Policy Advocates are the eyes and ears of the public, information providers, representatives to their clients and constituents, shapers of the government agenda, movers of legislation and coalition builders.

Public Policy Advocates  have a wide array of professional backgrounds as lawyers, public relations executives, parliamentary assistants, legislators, government officials or professionals in business and industry. Degrees in law and political science are among the most beneficial for prospective Public Policy Advocates , just as they are for other careers in politics and government. Journalism, education, public relations, history, and economics are other areas of study that are helpful in the pursuit of a public policy advoccay career. Public Policy Advocates serve different client groups- from non-profit organizations to trade associations, corporations and other groups. And they provide a breath of services ranging from making members of the European institutions awareof the issues of concern to their clients and the effect that legislation and regulations will have on them, provide research and analysis to help them make the most informed decisions possible, provide advice to clients and engage in strategic planning, researching issues, developing a plan and a proposal to solve the problem.  

Regardless of their experience, firm type, or client base, all Public Policy Advocates endeavour to provide sound solutions for complex issues. New members may bring skills and experience similar to that of other Public Policy Advocates. Often, they may bring entirely new skills and expertise into the organization.

Individuals are considered for membership every quarter. Prospective members who wish to be considered at the next meeting of the AALEP’s Invitation Committee should return a completed Memorandum of Information (The Public Policy Advocate's Application Form)  to AALEP Secretariat at aalep@proximus.be