Lobbying & Influence

Privileged access to decision-makers, revolving doors, biased experts… A look at how corporations seek to capture our democracy.

Lobbying is often reduced to stereotypes: secret meetings, invitations to lunch, copying and pasting of legislative amendments passed on by PR firms… In truth, big business’ influence over public decisions is exerted by many other means and at all stages of political processes, from the manipulation of expertise and public opinion to the technical implementation of decisions: a comprehensive attempt to capture democracy in order to protect private interests

The main effect of this corporate capture is to create and maintain a "bubble" where public and private leaders constantly rub shoulders in clubs, conferences and other formal and informal meeting places, and exchange positions through revolving doors. This symbiosis contributes to the growing confusion between public and private interests.

To counter the excessive power of economic interests, our whole democratic system must be strengthened and its mechanisms redesigned. It involves not only transparency of lobbying and in the relations between elected representatives, public officials and big business, and the strengthening of ethical safeguards, but also an overhaul of decision-making processes to ensure that they are adversarial and that the public is included at all stages. It also implies guaranteeing pluralism in the media and access to independent expertise.

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