Campaign > ongoing

A new law on lobbying in Italy


A law on lobbying, for the sake of democracy

Petition to the President of the Council of Ministers, to the Government and to the Parliament

Petition by

Non-profit organisation

Let’s break the link between lobbying and corruption, let us free ourselves once and for all from the chains of unscrupulous businessmen. This could be the right time: since the beginning of this term, the majority in the Government has submitted as many as 8 legislative proposals on lobbying. Now it’s time to move on to the facts: join us and sign for a law that regulates lobbying activities. We want more open and transparent public decisions to allow everyone, especially those groups of citizens who are often excluded, to participate in decision-making processes.

Every day in the Parliaments, in the ministries, in the regions, in our political cities and public officials have to make important decisions that can directly affect our lives. New infrastructures, drugs, social policies, pollution, work, consumer rights: these are just some of the crucial issues on which those who govern us make decisive choices, which could improve our daily lives or compromise our future. How are these decisions made? Listening to who? From what data and information?

It is here that lobbyists, professionals who work for companies, trade associations, interest groups and even for the non-profit sector, come into play, with a really important task: to bring their point of view to politicians and state officials. Lobbyists provide decision-makers with data, information and news, based on which choices are made that will affect our lives.

This process of information and influence of public decisions is today completely opaque and not regulated at all. There are no rules on how politicians and state leaders should approach the lobbyists, the subjects to listen to before making a relevant choice for the whole country, for our region, or for our city. In practice, today the far west is in force, where the strongest, the most powerful, the most unfair, the most unscrupulous, has the possibility of being listened to by politicians.

We believe that all this must be changed immediately and that Italy must have a law that establishes once and for all what can be done and what cannot be done in the lobbying activity.

Over 50 bills in more than 50 years have failed to produce a text that regulates lobbying in Italy, keeping a process opaque – that of the formation of public decisions – which should instead be open and in the light of day. This opacity has helped to demonize an activity that is an integral part of democracy. Because it is normal and legitimate for different interest groups to try to influence the choices of public decision-makers.

The presence of multiple voices and the comparison between different points of view can generate an informed debate on issues of collective interest. This is why the right to represent interests must be regulated, protected and extended.

Because in the absence of rules, our representatives and public managers are not obliged to listen to all the voices in the field. It means that users who use a railway line have less say in a transport company than independent researchers count less than a pharmaceutical company.

Institutions must make decision-making processes much more inclusive, putting everyone in the same conditions of influencing public decisions: from environmentalists to energy industries, from companies to consumer associations, from large groups to small neighbourhood committees.

Regulating once and for all lobbying would also allow all companies to have equal access to public information, help to rebalance free competition, improving our economy and consequently the lives of all citizens.

Join us and sign up for a law on lobbying that includes:

  • public consultations open to all interested parties before making important decisions or approving laws. In this way, the choices of the government and the administrations would be not only more democratic and transparent but also more effective because they are the result of listening to all the competent voices and interested in a theme.
  • a mandatory public register for lobbyists. Anyone who wants to exercise this activity must register and respect a code of conduct.
  • a public agenda of meetings between politicians, public officials and lobbyists, in which both parties are required to communicate the date of the meeting, the topics under discussion and what documentation has been filed.
  • serious sanctions to punish illegal behaviours of lobbyists, as well as for public decision-makers who do not respect the rules.

What are our politicians waiting for? 95% of the majority parliamentarians interviewed for one of our surveys agree on the need for a law and even consider it very urgent. It is time to light the lights on the bearers of special interests and protect the decisions that affect us all! We call for more inclusion and more transparency to improve the quality of our democracy.