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Lobbying the EU institutions: Why and how?


European Parliament - accessible, the people's representatives', key role ... One of the main committees of the European Parliament has adopted the HC programme ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lobbying the EU institutions: Why and how?

Lobbying the EU institutions Why and how?
  • Lobbying the EU institutions
  • Why and How?
  • Prague, Thursday 23 February 2006
  • EPHA, CAL and SKOK workshop Strengthening the
    networking on public health in Czech Republic
  • Anne Hoel,
  • EPHA European Public Health Alliance

Workshop session outline
Presentation the EU policy-making process, the
different actors and the NGO role Presentation
of the case study Health and Consumer
Programme Work in different groups and
presentation of the results Presentation of EPHA
experience and final overview of lobbying
Part 1 EU policy making processes, the different
actors and the NGO role
The European Commission Voice of the common
  • Official role as the Guardian of the Treaty.
  • It has the sole right to initiate
    legislation, and
  • monitors implementation of EU laws.
  • If Member States do not implement laws
  • adequately the Commission can start
  • infringement procedures.
  • Commissioners are appointed by the Member States
    but are required to act in the European
    interest and not of their home country. They are
    supported by a Cabinet, usually of political
  • Directorates-General are the core EU civil
    service, responsible for drafting EU legislation,
    organising public consultations and the
    day-to-day business of the EU.

The European Parliament Direct voice of the
  • Elected for 5 years by the citizens of the
  • EU to represent their interests.
  • 732 Members of the European
  • Parliament (MEPs) from 25 countries
  • EU-wide parties
  • Job pass European Laws (together
  • with the Council of Ministers), approve
  • the annual and multi annual budgets of the EU
  • Power to dismiss the European Commission
  • More info on httpwww.europarl.eu.int

The Council of Ministers Voice of the Member
  • The EU is a union of Member States. The highest
    political and legislative authority is the
    European Council which consists of Member States.
  • The Council of Ministers shares with the
    Parliament the responsibility for passing laws
    and taking policy decisions. It also bears the
    main responsibility for what the EU does in the
    field of the common foreign and security policy
    and for EU action on some justice and freedom
  • The Council consists of ministers from the
    national governments of all the EU countries.
    Meetings are attended by whichever ministers are
    responsible for the items to be discussed
    foreign ministers, ministers of the economy and
    finance, ministers for agriculture, etc
  • National civil servants posted to Brussels meet
    weekly to prepare the Ministerial meetings. They
    receive instructions from their governments and
    the meetings establish the basic positions of
    each country.

Role of NGOs and networking
  • Many EU policies have an impact direct or
    indirect on the health of EU citizens
  • 15,000 to 20,000 lobbyists in Brussels and ONLY
    10 are NGOs representing citizens interests
  • What is the difference between NGOs and lobbyists
  • Networking and alliances are the ONLY way to make
    our voice heard - You are unlikely to succeed
    alone. Use other NGOs resources rather than
    re-invent the wheel on your own.
  • Example EU Health Policy Forum

CASE STUDY The Health and Consumer Programme
    PROGRAMME 2007-2013
  • Presentation of the case study
  • Work in small groups

CASE STUDY The Health and Consumer Programme
overview 1/2
  • Public Health Programme 2003-2008 health
    information, health threats and health
  • Commission proposes a joint programme New
    Consumer and Health Programme 2007-2013
  • 3 new strands deliver response to health
    threats, prevent diseases and injuries and
    achieve synergies between national health systems
  • Increased budget 1,203 million EUR

CASE STUDY The Health and Consumer Programme
Overview 2/2
  • Weak legal text
  • Introduces core funding for European networks of
    health NGOs
  • Differenciates national agencies they would only
    get 50 co-financing for projects (Vs NGOs that
    would get 60)
  • Emphasizes the importance of communication
    campaigns, specially towards young people
  • Budget very ambitious objectives and activities,
    increased budget but not enough
  • Lobby for 1 EUR for health (1 EUR for each
    European citizen).

CASE STUDY The Health and Consumer Programme -
Objectives of EPHA lobbying campaign
  • Strengthening the legal text
  • Establishing clear criterias for NGOs that will
    receive core funding
  • Increase the levels of co-financing for projects
  • Budget Increase the overall budget to match the
  • 1 EUR for health (1 EUR for each European

CASE STUDY The Health and Consumer Programme
  • Imagine that youre
  • part of the EPHA
  • Secretariat....
  • And You and your
  • Members have to
  • achieve the objectives
  • that I have just set out.
  • What would you do?

CASE STUDY The Health and Consumer Programme -
  • Target audience
  • The European Commission
  • The European Parliament
  • The Council
  • Other NGOs
  • EPHA members
  • Medias
  • Would you meet the 732 MEPs?
  • Would you talk to each representative of Member
    States? or meet each government?
  • Would you organise sit-in protests in front of
    the European Council?
  • Would you involve citizens?

CASE STUDY The Health and Consumer Programme -
  • Information context communication
  • Background - what is the issue, the processes and
  • Define your messages - what do you want to say?
    What is unique or special about your position?
  • Identify your targets - who takes the decisions?
    Who do they listen to? What is important to them?
  • Select your vehicles - activities, events,
    information releases, meetings, conferences,
    media relations, demonstrations
  • Check the landscape - who are your allies and
    opponents? Track their messages and respond.

Conclusions Lobbying the EU institutions how
and why?
  • Theoretical framework
  • Health and Consumer Programme example

Conclusion Lobbying and the role of NGOs in
Brussels Defining lobbying
  • Direct lobbying Stating your position on
    specific legislation to legislators or other
    government employees who participate in the
    formulation of legislation, or urge your members
    to do so.
  • Grassroots lobbying Stating your position on
    legislation to the general public and asking the
    general public to contact legislators or other
    government employees who participate in the
    formulation of legislation.

Conclusion Who do we lobby?
  • European Commission - Role in policy formulation
    and drafting legislation.
  • European Parliament - accessible, the peoples
    representatives, key role in legislation.
  • European Council - Policy and position tracking
    in Brussels, lobby at the national level.
  • Other actors - think tanks and academics, NGOs,
    trade associations, UN agencies, trade unions,
    local and regional authorities, media, embassies,
    World Health Organisation.

Conclusion Roles of the NGO sector
  • Monitor, analyse and inform
  • gt what is happening in the institutions? What are
    the new policy trends, legal proposals?
  • gt what could this mean for your member
    organisations or target group? What actions are
    needed - passive monitoring or active lobbying?
  • gt explain the background of the issue, basic
    elements of the proposal, the timeframe for
  • Raise awareness within our membership and other
    NGOs - ensure that members understand the
    implications for them and their issues of this
    policy or legislation
  • Engage and consult - encourage debate, exchange
    of ideas, brainstorm on what should be the goals
    of lobbying. Gather viewpoints from communities
    and target groups - particularly those affected
    by the policy proposal

Conclusion Roles of the NGO sector
  • Challenge - the policy-makers and other
    stakeholders to address concerns or provide
    evidence and arguments for their positions
  • Empower - provide the tools for NGOs to act, eg
    draft letters, opportunities to sign-up, attend
    meetings with policy-makers.
  • Represent - bringing forward the diversity of
    voices of civil society, public interest,
    visibility through the media.
  • Follow-up - keep up the momentum, follow the
    policy through to implementation, evaluation and

Conclusion Health and Consumer Programme EPHA
  • We monitored the activities (knowing the
    different actors, the timetable, etc...) so as to
    transmit the knowledge to our members and act in
    a timely manner
  • Raised awareness among our members with briefing
    and meetings decision by EPHA members that it
    was a priority for EPHA
  • Engaged debate and drafted position paper with
    EPHA members
  • Empowered our members with voting list,
    amendments, key contacts, etc...
  • Used EPHA as an alliance with each member
    lobbying on a particular issue and EPHA
    secretariat on the funding part

Conclusion Health and Consumer Programme EPHA
  • Lobbying the Commission meetings and exchange of
    e-mails when they were drafting the HCP
  • European Parliament 2 conferences
  • organised with the Commissioner for
  • Health and Health attachés
  • contact and meetings with key MEPs
  • drafting amendments voting list letter
  • Lobbying the Council? EPHA members at national
    level, in their own language, to their own

Conclusion Health and Consumer Programme EPHA
  • Consultation of other NGOs (eg consumer
  • Representing EPHA members in different
  • Media articles
  • Follow-up

Conclusion Health and Consumer Programme
  • One of the main committees of the European
    Parliament has adopted the HC programme
  • Consistent with our approach - Most of our
    amendments were adopted (but the budget)
  • Now, it needs to be endorsed by the whole EP
    March 2006
  • And the Council (vote expected in June)

European Public Health Alliance
  • 39-41 Rue dArlon
  • B-1000 Brussels
  • Belgium
  • Tel 32-2 230 30 56
  • Fax 32-2 233 38 80
  • anne_at_epha.org
  • www.epha.org
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