For several years, The Good Lobby team in Milan has been working tirelessly to pass a law on lobbying in Italy. On June 23rd, their request for clearly defined rules in an effort to foster more open and transparent decisions was finally heard in the Chamber of Deputies. The Good Lobby’s campaign on lobbying was supported by more than 10.000 citizens and dozens of other civil society organizations.
The hearing in the Chamber of Deputies was an opportunity for The Good Lobby team to make a significant contribution to the three different lobbying bills currently under discussion in the Chamber. The bills have been presented by the three main political forces that sit together in the majority of government: 5-star movement, Democratic Party and Italy VIva.
The Good Lobby Office in Milan Director, Federico Anghelé, explaining how the hearing in the Chamber of Deputies on the lobbying bill went
A mandatory national public registry for lobbyists – the first request is to establish a national public register of stakeholders, with mandatory registration for anyone who wants to exercise the lobbying activity. This is led by a super party authority who able to guarantee impartiality in monitoring lobbying activities and enactment of sanctions.
A public agenda of meetings – The second request is to establish a public agenda for meetings between politicians, public officials, and lobbyists. These documents are to be made available on the websites of the institutions to which the implicated public authority belongs. This is to be used by both parties to communicate the date of the meeting, the issues to be discussed there, and the documentation filed during the meeting.
Serious penalties for punishing the illegal behaviour of lobbyists and politicians – The third request is to rebalance the sanctioning framework as it applies to disciplining influencers in the public space. The existing parliamentary bills on the topic are currently too favourable towards individuals perpetrating malfeasance in office and lobbyists engaging in deceitful behaviour. The request is to exercise adequate sanctions for decision-makers who do not respect the rules.
Public consultations – Lastly, The Good Lobby emphasized the need for the government to initiate public stakeholder consultations on the bills currently in question. This would give members of the register the opportunity to be heard on the issues they wish to address.
To know the other requests presented, you can read or download the document that The Good Lobby team has filed with the Commission here.
And if you haven’t already done so, sign The Good Lobby team’s petition that asks for more open and transparent decisions in the Italian legislative process. Because if we really care about our democracy, we have to start lobbying right away!
1 September 2020