EUROCONFERENCE 2013. EU Association Lobbying Effectiveness Report. 25 April 2013. key success factors. 1. Association Leadership 2. Adding-value for members 3. EU Public Affairs 4. Communications. 2012 association survey. 2013 European Association Lobbying Effectiveness Survey.
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EU Association Lobbying Effectiveness Report
25 April 2013
1. Association Leadership
2. Adding-value for members
3. EU Public Affairs
A Consultancy involved with Association Management (28%)
The Secretariat of a European Association (32%)
A Corporate member of a European Association (21%)
The Secretariat of a National Association (4%)
EU Business (Trade Associations)
Public Affairs Agencies
Strongly disagree (2%)
Strongly agree (46%)
How would you rate the importance of the following key ‘internal’ success factors for an Association to achieve favourable EU policy outcomes?
Ensuring effective process to make timely decisions and positions
Having the right spokespersons
to represent your industry
Efficient teamwork between members and Secretariat
Behaving ethically and
Dedicated lobbyists beyond the Director General
A Director/Secretary General who is very well networked at EU level
Simplifying EU policy
complexity toward Members
“Early preparation is key to success, we are already working on a lobbying strategy for revision of a key Directive in 2015. You cannot wait for the Commission to come up with a proposal, you have to put down what your association wants ahead of time to have the most impact.”
Lack of financial resources (11%)
Failure to unify forces and harness potential of membership support (38%)
A restrictive governance structure impeding swift and efficient decision making (24%)
Lack of EU level expertise or awareness of key issues amongst association decision-makers (27%)
“If the process is not efficient key windows to influence the EU policy process may be missed.”
“Often you can see the tension between an Association secretariat and its members, no efficient lobbying will take place unless that is sorted out”.
Budget cuts have led to increased focus:
“Associations have been forced to demonstrate more clearly what their added value is and what contributions planned activities will have in terms of outcomes to justify their funding.”
“Budget pressures may have narrowed the focus of some EU business associations to lobby on less issues.”
“If there is a really urgent lobbying need then getting additional project budget is not a problem.”
“In some cases the crisis has helped clarify the role and mission of associations and they have now more resources than before”
Being too late in the process
Taking a lowest common denominator consensus position
Restricted stakeholder outreach and failure to create alliance partnerships
Conveying contradictory messages with their members
Poor briefing materials
Failing to understand process and procedure
Basing a position on too many facts rather than integrating an emotional element
Basing a position on too much emotion rather than facts
Conveying clear messages
Building coalitions with other affected Industry Associations
Building coalitions with stakeholders beyond your business sector
Integrating traditional press and media relations
Integrating digital elements and social media to lobbying strategies
Being consulted on EU policies before they are drafted
Achievements versus planned/agreed actions
Reputation among high-level decision-makers
Return on Investment (ROI)
Impact measurement of lobbying through analysis of cost savings
Feedback from members
Other (please specify)
Impact measurement of lobbying through analysis of additional revenues for the industry
Increasing impact beyond the European Union
EU Politics (People)
EU Process (Law)
Issue Leader (authority)
“I need to know I can trust a lobbyist and that I am not being set-up for a fall.”
“The best lobbyists are respectful of an MEP’s limited time and let MEPs talk first.”
“The ability to deliver a coherent message in under 5 minutes is critical for MEPs.”
The Council of the
European Commission (57%)
European Parliament (28%)
“European Associations tend to be most effective with the European Commission who take a pan-European interest, rather than the European Parliament where MEPS take a national interest.”
“Unlike many sectors, the majority of our legislation is national, so our tour de tables tend to be very interesting.”
Strongly disagree (19%)
Strongly disagree (1%)
Strongly disagree (8%)
The key measure of success is delivering against a clear strategy and being consulted early by the EU institutions.
To achieve favourable policy outcomes associations need:
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Mark Dober is a Senior Director in the Brussels office of Ellwood Atfield, helping clients identify and recruit the best public affairs and association leadership professionals worldwide. He has been twice voted ‘European Consultant of the Year’ by Jury for 'Public Affairs News', and also by members of ‘The European Public Affairs Directory’.
He was APCO’s first employee in Europe and set up APCO’s Brussels office in 1995, acting as Managing Director in various roles until 2010. He has represented numerous associations and NGOs from BUSINESSEUROPE to WWF.
He speaks English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Rachel Barlow is former Vice President of Kellen Europe and a Board member of the European Society of Association Executives. She is currently focusing on governance issues arising from interest representation whilst undertaking a PhD on accountability in business associations.
Rachel has extensively researched Brussels business associations and has recently undertaken teaching assignments at the College of Europe, Lille University, HUB and the European Lobbying Institute of the University of Strasbourg.
With her 15 years' experience in Public Affairs, Rachel carries out ad hoc projects for EA, with an emphasis on association leadership. She speaks English, French and Italian.