Issuu on Google+

H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 1

A Guide to Ef fective Lobbying of the European Commission Based on a survey of senior Commission Officials Spring 2003


H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 2


H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 3

CONTENTS

Background and methodology

4

Executive summary

5

How high is your sector rated?

6

What’s wrong with lobbyists?

8

What makes a good lobbyist?

9

Lobbyists provoke wide-ranging reactions

10

Is your lobbying creative and focused?

12

Why MEPs are doubly important

14

Where decision-makers find information

15

How effective are NGOs?

16

Respective inputs from industry and NGOs

18

Get serious: get off the phone

20

Media as a source of information

22

Appendix

24

About Burson-Marsteller/BKSH and Wirthlin-Europe

26

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

3


H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 4

BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY The aim of this survey was to improve understanding of what constitutes an effective approach by industry to communications on EU policy issues with European Commission officials. Burson-Marsteller/BKSH commissioned the survey from WirthlinEurope, an independent company specialising in research on strategic communications. In 2001, Wirthlin carried out a similar survey for Burson-Marsteller on perceptions of lobbying among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Structured telephone interviews, each lasting ten minutes, were conducted with 61 Commission officials with posts of sector head and above from a selection of 15 Directorates-General and members of 15 Cabinets in the corresponding policy areas. The interviews took place in January and February 2003 in four EU languages. The margin of error is +/-11.2 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence level.

Reproduction of the data contained in this report is authorised provided credit is given to Burson-Marsteller/BKSH and Wirthlin-Europe. 4

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 5

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Industry lobbying at the Commission: not bad - but could be better The general picture that emerges from within the Commission is that there is room for improvement in industry lobbying efforts. On a scale of 1-10, the overall score averages 6.

However, there are some significant differences in Commission officials’ views of the effectiveness of lobbying between different policy areas. Inputs from industry score high with Directorate-Generals Trade, Energy and Transport. DGs Agriculture and Economic and Financial Affairs, by contrast, view the performance of lobbyists as one of relative mediocrity. In the eyes of members of Commissioners’ Cabinets, industry lobbyists tend to enjoy a somewhat more positive perception than among officials in the DGs. For interviewees who believe lobbyists are doing a good job, reasons cited include: provision of in-depth specialised knowledge well-presented and coherent information regular contacts.

Those who view lobbyists less favourably arrive at this conclusion for reasons which include: lack of balanced, independently substantiated information not timely not targeted, not relevant. MEPs are considered to be important lobbyists by the Commission, altough perceptions differed significantly depending on the policy area concerned. Their highest impact is in policy areas such as information society, internal market, agriculture, environment and health. MEPs score lower in areas such as trade, economic & financial affairs and competition.

Written briefings followed by face to face meetings and e-mail are seen as more effective. Major inputs into the making of Commission decisions are perceived as internal – staff, colleagues and personal research. However, industry representation is seen as a fairly significant factor, and is particularly important in areas such as trade. As regards the influence of media, the Financial Times, mirroring the results of the earlier European Parliament survey, is quite clearly viewed as the single most important opinion former for Commission policy-makers. The Economist and Agence Europe also rate highly.

NGOs are seen as most effective lobbyists in sectors such as energy, consumer goods, food & drink, pharmaceuticals and utilities. The telephone as a tool for lobbying Commission officials scores poorly.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

5


H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 6

HOW HIGH IS YOUR SECTOR RATED?

On a scale of 1 – 10, how would you rate the effectiveness of industry lobbying efforts in general? Base: all respondents

The aim of this survey was to gain a better understanding of the most effective ways to communicate with members of Commissioners’ Cabinets and senior officials of Commission DGs. The survey’s

broad conclusion is that while the majority of lobbying is fairly effective, some is untargeted and insufficiently supported by appropriate data. In this respect, the responses of the Cabinet mem-

bers and senior officials broadly reflect the views of MEPs whom we surveyed two years ago. A common thread is discernible between the findings of the

Commission Officials Cabinet Members

6

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 7

HOW HIGH IS YOUR SECTOR RATED?

Perceived effectiveness of sector lobbying efforts Chemical Energy Utilities / Public Services IT / Telecom Electrical & Electronics Financial services HC / Pharmaceutical Transport Consumer goods / Food / Drinks Retailing

Rate the following industries on how well you perceive their lobbying efforts on a scale of 1 – 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means exceptionally good. Base: all respondents.

Commission and Parliament surveys. For example, the retailing sector emerges as the least effective in its lobbying efforts, replicating the results of the earlier survey of MEPs. At the other extreme, the chemicals industry scores highest in this survey, slightly bettering its very close second place in the 2001 survey of MEPs. Overall, Cabinet members and senior DG officials rated the effectiveness of industry’s communication efforts at 6 out of 10. Cabinet members rated the effectiveness of industry lobbying higher (6.5) than officials in the DGs (5.9). All in all, industry lobbying attracts often sharply divergent views from within the Commission. Some officials remark positively on well-presented and documented

information they receive from lobbyists. Others, more critical, see lobbying efforts as untargeted, ill-timed and unsubstantiated. Divergent assessments of the performance of lobbyists also reflect differences between policy areas. Highest scores for lobbyists were given by officials in DG Trade and the Trade Commissioner’s Cabinet (7.8) and by DG Energy and Transport and the corresponding Cabinet (7.2). By contrast, lobbying by industry is viewed as less effective by officials in DGs Agriculture (4.6) and Economic and Financial Affairs (4.8). Creativity and the tailoring of lobbying efforts to the specific needs of an official can be crucial. In this respect, the findings show that in some sectors lobbyists are providing high quality work.

The chemical and energy sectors gain the highest ratings - each scoring 6.6 (out of 10) and confirming them among the survey’s best performers. They also came top in the rating of how well their lobbying efforts are perceived. Lobbyists in the consumer goods/food/drink and retailing sectors scored lowest marks both for creativity and tailoring of messages and for how well their lobbying efforts are perceived. Overall, the results indicate that the performance of industry lobbyists is patchy. Even if the least performing sectors pull themselves up to the level of the best, room for improvement would still exist.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

7


H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 8

WHAT’S WRONG WITH LOBBYISTS?

Perceived effectiveness of industry lobbying by DG Trade

Average: 6.0

Energy and Transport Budget Environment Health and Consumer Protection Competition Internal Market Information Society Enterprise Education and Culture Taxation and Customs Union Employment and Social Affairs

On a scale of 1 – 10, how would you rate the effectiveness of industry lobbying efforts in general?

Development

Base: all respondents.

Economic and Financial Affairs Agriculture

Some critical views - Cabinet members and senior Commission officials who did not rate lobbyists highly were asked to give their reasons. “They just send in material – there’s little personal contact. They’re very passive, make little effort and don’t suggest coming to see me.”

“Lobbyists are very heterogeneous – very good/bad. Many are unprofessional, lack know-how and produce one large amount of dross.”

“Better homework is needed and a greater effort to understand the European Commission’s political objectives. Submissions should be more focused.”

“Most of the time I don’t learn anything new. I want to know the interest of the company that the lobbyist represents and to whom he/she reports. I expect lobbyists to have direct links to decision makers in a company and to tell me about future strategy – but this seldom happens.”

“I need targeted information – unbiased information.” “Provide more analysis and substantiate submissions. Stop playing one EC department against another.” “More active, try harder to keep in touch.”

8

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

“Be factual, be transparent, and declare interest openly.” “Some of their information is biased and I need to double check it.”

“Continuity of information – one off. Not systematic. Unfocused.” “Consider the different roles and interests of the Commission. European Commission roles are more long-term and industry’s role is more short-term. Industry should do more lobbying as it does in the US.” “They try to be domineering and are too general to be of help. Talks/workshops with key people in individual industry companies are much more useful.”


H2L Commission final green 3

24/04/03

14:02

Page 9

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LOBBYIST?

Some appreciative remarks - Cabinet members and senior Commission officials who rated industry lobbyists highly were asked to give their reasons. “I need to know the practical problems arising from proposed EC legislation for the fisheries industry. The fisheries industries are extremely proactive in their dealings with the Commission.”

“They have the know-how and good communications skills. They pass me the right message – good technical evidence.”

“We have a very good and co-operative relationship with industry. Their information is generally balanced.”

“Information received is well targeted.”

“Provide good insight into their problems particularly with trading with developing countries.”

“I judge their views to be important to the EU in general and to this Directorate General in particular.”

“The anti-dumping work of this Directorate is entirely dependent on representations from industry.”

“We in Research have an easier relationship with the industries than other Director Generals, don’t have to directly fend off immediate commercial interests but talk about long term investment and strategies – useful exchange of ideas, rather than pushing for preferential individual consideration.”

“They give good information that enables me to evaluate the impact of Commission ideas on their sector.”

“They provide practical information from one side of the spectrum and an insight into what happens in reality.”

Commission officials and Cabinet members in the DG TAXUD/Cabinet rate the importance of their own staff in making informed decisions at 9.6 out of 10 – one of the highest ratings recorded in the survey. At DG Internal Market, the rating falls to 7.3.

Commission officials and Cabinet members in the Budget Cabinet/DG rated the BBC 8 out of 10 for importance as a source of industry information. At Employment and Social Affairs the BBC’s rating was only 3.7.

The Trade Cabinet/DG gives European Voice a rating of 7 out of 10 for importance as a source of industry information. DG SANCO gives it a rating of only 2.8.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

9


10

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 10

LOBBYISTS PROVOKE WIDE-RANGING REACTIONS: ROUND-UP BY SECTOR Perceived effectiveness of sector lobbying by those most familiar with the industry

Rate the following industries on how well you perceive their lobbying efforts on a scale of 1 – 10, where 1 means very poor and 10 means exceptionally good. Base: Respondents most familiar with each respective industry.

Cabinet members and senior Commission officials were asked to rate industries on how well they perceived their lobbying efforts. Then they were asked to explain some of the thinking behind their ratings.

10

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

CHEMICAL

ENERGY

“They know how to defend their views – good technical evidence.” “They react when we are looking for information – they will research issues if we need feedback.”

“Very good documentation with a diversity of views – reports well cross referenced to sources with good technical arguments. Very professional with a global view to enlighten ignorant civil servants.”

“They’re very active – keep in touch but don’t waste our time.”

“Good information on market and structure of their industry.”

“Very intense – good arguments, analysis and technical inputs.”

“Really in the loop of policy-making very active right from the beginning.”

“Really in the loop of policy-making – very active from the beginning.”

“Well organised – delegations are properly constructed to give a balanced view.”


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 11

LOBBYISTS PROVOKE WIDE-RANGING REACTIONS: ROUND-UP BY SECTOR UTILITIES/PUBLIC SERVICES “They have a lack of understanding of what I do – that is what I can and can’t do.” “Electricity supply industry takes lobbying very seriously and knows how to approach the Commission.” “Very effective – they tap into grass roots organisations and on local politics that turns into national pressure. They use employees and trade unions for mobilisation. I don`t like them because they stop us from getting on with our work – but I admire their tenacity.” “We have big issues in Germany and France with political overtones. The lobbyists are close to member governments who assist with lobbying.”

IT/TELECOMS

“Keep in regular touch – good research and provide a bridge with the USA electronics industry.” “Disparate approaches from all sides of the industry.”

FINANCIAL SERVICES

“There is transparency and mutual confidence – they are good professionals, very co-operative and they work very well with us.” “My Directorate is responsible for IT and telecoms – vital interests of the transport industry yet we never see them.”

“A high level of expertise – financial matters are often very complicated but they define the issues clearly. Very helpful.”

“Too aggressive.”

“They have more to play for and are highly motivated. With high stakes they can invest more money in lobbying.”

“Good and relevant technical information – particularly from individual companies.”

“This is a very specialised area. We lack knowledge so we rely on them to provide us with specialist’s knowledge – therefore they are very good at influencing our decisions.”

CONSUMER GOODS/FOOD/DRINK

“Very strong links with relevant Directorate-Generals.” “Really in the loop of policy making – very active at the beginning.” “A very diverse group – many different industries and they can’t get across any common message.”

“They are politically very well organised. They don’t only lobby in Brussels but also in individual capitals. They come to the Commission with clear ideas of what they want…sophisticated.”

“Not well pitched lobbying – not up to date with contacts.”

“They are very well connected with the Directorate-General and seem very effective judging by the directives approved by the EC.”

“Information is timely and relevant.”

“They provide very detailed information and explain their complicated subjects well. Even to a non specialist like me, they have credibility.”

“Quite good at representing general views of their industry – they give honest and comprehensive replies to our questions. They appreciate the role of regulation.”

“They’re a mixed bag – shallow arguments. They benefited too greatly from the e-commerce boom and there’s little substantiation in their opinions.”

“They cannot compromise – cannot accept decisions that are not 100 per cent what they want.”

“Could improve their image – offer nothing of added value or interest.”

“Tend to intervene too late when the policy has been made.”

“Need to provide timely unbiased factual information.”

ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS

HEALTH CARE/ PHARMACEUTICAL

“They are embedded in the EU process and are seen as partners.”

TRANSPORT “Good communication skills – good technical evidence.” “Have handled environmental issues with sensitivity.”

“We have very few contacts with them.”

RETAILING “Respond well to requests for information…can provide cross-border view on key issues.” “Honest and frank in their replies – close to the public and know they are answerable to the public.” “Collective and orchestrated e-mail bombardment – unproductive.”

“Very little contact with them.”

“Management and support are well organised – we meet regularly in workshops for technical and scientific discussions.”

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

11


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 12

IS YOUR LOBBYING CREATIVE AND FOCUSED?

Perceived creativity of industry lobbying

Interviewees were asked to rate from 1 – 10 the extent to which they felt that industry lobbying is sufficiently creative and tailored to their need. Base: All respondents.

Lobbying, to be successful, has to be creative and tailored to the specific needs of Cabinet members and senior Commission officials. First we asked all our interviewees to rate industry lobbying by sector in terms of its ability to meet these requirements. Then we narrowed down our interviewees to those who were familiar with specific industrial sectors.

12

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

most familiar with each industry sector, a startlingly different picture emerges. Energy becomes the most creative and tailored sector (7.6) while the rating of retailing slumps (4.7) – a gap of almost 3 points.

On the basis of the overall view, the chemicals sector ranks highest at 6.6 and retailing lowest at 5.7. The margin between best and worst is narrow at 0.9.

The apparently inescapable conclusion is that the energy sector seems to be on message in its contact with the Commission. The retail sector would benefit from dramatic improvement.

However, when the findings are analysed on the basis of respondents

Other industries with perceived improved creativity and focus by


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 13

IS YOUR LOBBYING CREATIVE AND FOCUSED?

Perceived creativity of industry lobbying sectors by those most familiar with the industry Chemical Energy Transport Financial services IT / Telecom Electrical & Electronics HC / Pharmaceutical Utilities / Public Services Consumer goods / Food / Drinks Retailing

First, interviewees were asked to rate from 1 – 10 the extent to which they felt that industry lobbying is sufficiently creative and tailored to their need. This graph shows the responses when the interviewees were narrowed down to those most familiar with each industry. Base: Respondents most familiar with each respective industry.

those most familiar with them are: chemicals, utilities/public services, IT/telecom and electrical/electronics. While retailing is clearly the poorest sector, financial services does not

perform well either. The concern with these sectors is that messages appear to have less resonance with their most important audiences in the Commission.

KEYS TO EFFECTIVENESS IN APPROACHING THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION Target the right officials Tailor your messages - be sensitive to the needs of the interlocutor Establish an on-going relationship with Commission officials and their staff Be timely – present information early in the legislative process Be objective – provide credible, balanced information and avoid emotion

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

13


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 14

WHY MEPs ARE DOUBLY IMPORTANT

Perceived importance of MEPs’ lobbying efforts

Rate lobbying of your DG/Cabinet by MEPs in terms of its importance where 1 is not at all important and 10 means very important. Base: All respondents.

Cabinet members and senior Commission officials consider lobbying by MEPs of relatively high significance. This finding illustrates the importance of MEPs, over and above the collective legislative role of the Parliament, as individual factors of influence in contacts with Commission officials. To some extent, the table reflects their importance in policy areas where the Parliament enjoys co-decision powers. DG Information Society and DG Internal Market (respectively first and second in the table), DGs Environment, Health and Consumer Protection and Budget, are all involved in policy where the European Parliament shares EU decision-making with the Council. However, the correlation between the Parliament’s vested powers in

14

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

certain areas and the level of individual MEP influence is apparently not a hard-and-fast rule. On agriculture policy, where the Parliament has only a limited consultative role, officials surveyed consider MEP lobbying of considerable significance – perhaps reflecting the highly politicised nature of some of the issues in this field. More predictably, the low score attached to MEP lobbying by officials in DGs Trade, Economic and Financial Affairs and Competition also areas where Parliament has by and large less constitutional powers – suggests that inputs from MEPs are less significant here.


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 15

WHERE DECISION-MAKERS FIND INFORMATION

Importance of different sources of information My staff My colleagues My personal research Industry representation Media NGO representation

On a scale of 1 – 10 rank these sources of information in the order in which they are most helpful in providing what you need to make informed decisions. Base: All respondents.

Though industry lobbying leaves significant room for improvement, it remains a more helpful source of information to Commission officials than information and views contained in the media. As inputs to policy-making, Cabinet members and senior Commission officials tend to look first to their staff, then to their colleagues and personal research before turning to industry represen-

tation for information helpful to decision-making. Media and NGO representations follow further down the scale. In this respect, our earlier MEP survey is an interesting point of reference. This showed that MEPs also looked first to their staff for information. However, while Cabinet members and senior officials turn next to their colleagues for such help, MEPs rated their colleagues last in order of importance from this standpoint.

Within the findings significant differences exist. At one extreme, DG Trade values industry inputs highly; at the other, DG Health and Consumer Protection appears to be the least enthusiastic. Contrasting views are also apparent on the issue of industry generated scientific research. DG Environment regards it as more helpful, for example, than DG Employment and Social Affairs.

Importance of different types of research Independent scientific research Economic impact research Social impact research Industry generated scientific research Regional impact research

On a scale of 1 – 10 rate the importance to the Commission of these types of information. Base: All respondents.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

15


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 16

HOW EFFECTIVE ARE NGOs?

Perceived effectiveness of NGO lobbying

Interviewees were asked in which sectors NGOs lobby most effectively.

Base: All respondents.

Cabinet members and senior Commission officials familiar with NGOs working in the energy field found them to be strikingly effective, as illustrated in our second diagram. The diagram on this page shows the responses from Commission officials and Cabinet members when asked which NGOs were most effective in lobbying. The NGOs in the consumer goods, food, drinks and energy sectors were rated almost neck and neck.

Far from breeding contempt, familiarity with some NGOs apparently boosts their credibility further. When the interviewees were narrowed down to those most familiar

The Agriculture Cabinet/DG gives European Report a rating of 8 out of 10 for importance as a source of industry information. DG Employment and Social Affairs give it a rating of just 2.

16

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 17

HOW EFFECTIVE ARE NGOs?

Perceived effectiveness of NGO lobbying by those most familiar with the sector Consumer goods / Food / Drinks Energy HC / Pharmaceutical Chemical Utilities / Public services Transport Retailing Electrical & Electronics Financial services IT / Telecom Don’t know

First, interviewees were asked in which sectors NGOs lobby most effectively. This graph shows the responses narrowed down to those most familiar with each industry. Base: Respondents most familiar with each respective industry.

with each respective industry, NGOs in the energy field soared, as did those in utilities/public services/ consumer goods/food/drink. Also, many Commission officials'

relative unfamiliarity with NGOs is clear. Nearly a quarter of officials interviewed were unsure of whether NGOs lobbied effectively and answered either "Don't know" or refused to answer.

Commission officials and Cabinet members in the ECFIN Cabinet/DG rate the helpfulness of the media in making informed decisions at 7.4 out of 10. At DG SANCO the rating falls to 3.8.

The perceived helpfulness of NGOs varies enormously. As you might expect, the Development Cabinet/DG rates their helpfulness at 7 out of 10 but Internal Market gives a rating of only 3.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

17


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 18

RESPECTIVE INPUTS FROM INDUSTRY AND NGOs

Perceived helpfulness of industry representation

Helpfulness of industry representation to DGs/Cabinet members in their work. Base: All respondents.

The helpfulness of industry representation varies sharply among different Cabinets and DGs. While DG Trade gives a rating of 8 to industry helpfulness, DG Health and Consumer Protection gives it a score of only 4.4. There is a sharp divergence of view among different Cabinets and DGs

over the helpfulness of NGO representation. While DG Development gives the top rating of 7, followed by DG Environment (6.6), the figure falls to 5 for Information Society and 4.2 for DG Health and Consumer Protection.

DG/Cabinet Energy and Transport rate the importance of their own personal research in making informed decisions at 8.5 out of 10. DG TAXUD/Cabinet gave personal research a rating of 5.6.

The SANCO Cabinet/DG rated the importance of their colleagues in making informed decisions on industry at 8.4 out of 10. At DG ECFIN, the rating fell to 6.6.

18

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 19

RESPECTIVE INPUTS FROM INDUSTRY AND NGOs

Perceived helpfulness of NGO representation Trade Energy and Transport Enterprise Internal Market Economic and Financial Affairs Education and Culture Environment Information Society Competition Development Taxation and Customs Union Agriculture Helpfulness of NGO representation to DGs/Cabinet members in their work. Base: All respondents.

Employment and Social Affairs Budget Health and Consumer Protection

DG Budget and DG Internal Market both give the lowest rating – 3 each. The diagrams provide a snapshot to some extent - of the Directorate

Generals that have come to regard NGOs as important interlocutors: Development, Trade, Environment and Energy and Transport.

Officials and Cabinet members were questioned on the importance of research. At Agriculture, social impact research was rated 8 out of 10 while at SANCO the rating fell to 4.3. Economic research was rated 8.8 by DG Information Society but only 5.5 by DG Internal Market. For regional impact research, DG ECFIN gave the highest rating: 7.8.

Commission officials and Cabinet members were asked to rate their own national newspaper for its importance as a source of information on industry. The Environment Cabinet/DGs rating was 8 out of 10 while DG SANCO gave the lowest rating of 3.5.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

19


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 20

GET SERIOUS: GET OFF THE PHONE

Importance of phone as mean of communication

Importance of phone as means of receiving industry information. Base: All respondents.

The image of the lobbyist making ceaseless phone calls to change the minds of politicians and officials is not one that finds favour with most policy-makers in their day-to-day work. When officials and Cabinet members were asked how industry best communicates information, the telephone came last, according to the survey as a whole. However, aversion to the phone call as a means of putting the point is less

pronounced in some DGs (e.g.Trade, Health) than others. Written briefings are regarded as the best way to communicate, scoring 7.2 out of a maximum of ten. Meetings (6.9), the second

The importance of conferences as a way to receive industry information is rated by the Environment Cabinet/DG at 6.4 out of 10. At DG ECFIN, conferences were rated at only 4.

20

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 21

GET SERIOUS: GET OFF THE PHONE

Best way of communicating information Written briefing material Meeting E-mail Site visit Media Conference Phone

Rate the best way that industry information is communicated to you where 1 means it is not an important way and 10 means very important. Base: All respondents.

preference, are also considered favourably. Both means of communication rank well ahead of other means of getting industry’s message across. Conferences, while perceived as more useful than phoning, are not

highly regarded for the purposes of communicating views into the system. Views are more effectively conveyed via the media and, better still, via e-mail. The latter has possibly superseded the phone as the preferred means of rapid communication.

On-line services, e-mails and written material are highly rated by the ECFIN Cabinet/DG as ways to receive industry information. Ratings are 8.8, 6.8 and 7.8 out of 10 respectively. ECFIN gives conferences, meetings and site visits the lowest ratings among all Cabinets/DGs – 4 and 4.8 respectively.

Written material is rated by the Energy and Transport Cabinet/DG at 8.2 out of 10 for helpfulness. At the Internal Market, the rating drops to 5.5.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

21


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 22

MEDIA AS A SOURCE OF INFORMATION

Rating of different media as information source on industry

Rate your key sources of information from 1 – 10 where 1 means not at all a good source of information on industry and 10 means a very good source. Base: All respondents.

The clear lead enjoyed by the Financial Times as the media source among Cabinet members and senior Commission officials reflects the judgement of MEPs in our earlier survey. Out of a possible rating of 10, the Financial Times scored 7.8, followed by the Economist (6.9) and Agence Europe (6.7).

The policy-maker’s own national newspaper scored 6.2 – the same as the BBC. CNN came last with 4.7.

DG Energy and Transport attach most importance to receiving industry information through meetings and e-mail – their ratings are 7.8 and 7.7 out of 10. DG Employment and Social Affairs give e-mail a rating of only 5.2 while DG Agriculture rates meetings at only 6.2.

22

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 23

MEDIA AS A SOURCE OF INFORMATION

Rating of Financial Times as industry information source by DG

Base: All respondents.

Taxation and Customs Union

Education and Culture

Development

Information Society

Agriculture

Trade

Budget

Economic and Financial Affairs

Energy and Transport

Competition

Enterprise

Internal Market

Employment and Social Affairs

Environment

Health and Consumer Protection

These charts give an indication of the importance of identifying the right outlet to communicate media messages to the Commission. Every Cabinet/DG gives the Financial Times more than 6 out of 10 as a source of information on industry.

While Euractiv rates 10 out of 10 in Employment and Social Affairs, its ratings proceed to rapidly collapse and drop to only 3.5 in DG Energy and Transport and nothing at all in DGs Budget, Competition, Economic and Financial Affairs and Trade.

DG Environment rates CNN 7.3 out of 10 for importance as a source of information on industry. Employment and Social Affairs gives the TV news station a 3.3 rating.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

23


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 24

APPENDIX

Language of interviews

English

Total sample (number =76)

French

89%

Italian Spanish

1% 4%

5%

DG composition Total Number = 76

Cabinet DG

24

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 25

APPENDIX

Country composition Total Number = 76

Sample composition 79%

21% Female Male

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

25


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 26

Located in the political and media centre of Europe, Burson-Marsteller Brussels specialises in Europe-wide public affairs and media campaigns. BKSH is the government relations arm of BursonMarsteller. Three things make us different from other consultancies: Our stable, senior team comprising 19 nationalities. Our integrated approach to public affairs. Our record of securing results that has led to long-standing relationships with loyal clients. Contact: Jeremy Galbraith Burson-Marsteller/BKSH 118 Avenue de Cortenbergh 1000 Brussels Tel: +32 (0)2 743 6611 Fax: + 32 (0)2 733 6611 Email: jeremy_galbraith@be.bm.com Website: www.bmbrussels.be

Wirthlin-Europe, part of Wirthlin Worldwide, is one of the world’s leading strategic communications research companies. The company is based in London and Brussels and handles research and consulting for a broad range of clients throughout Europe and elsewhere. Wirthin-Europe conducts strategic marketing and communications research in Europe and, through its colleagues in Wirthlin Worldwide, globally. The company specialises in corporate communications among employees and external audiences; social and political research; pharmaceuticals and healthcare; and strategic brand development research in all markets.

26

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 27


H2L Commission final green 3

23/04/03

19:30

Page 28

118 Avenue de Cortenbergh Tel: +32 (0)2 743 6611 1000 Brussels Fax: + 32 (0)2 733 6611

info@bmbrussels.be www.bmbrussels.be


Burson-Marsteller Report: A Guide to Effective Lobbying of the European Commission