Lobbying and corruption in Europe: Intellectual property rights policy in France and Spain

Autor principal:
Esteban Arribas Reyes (Universidad de Alcalá)
Jorge Fernández-Rúa Mateo
Sesión 2
Día: miércoles, 15 de julio de 2015
Hora: 11:45 a 14:15
Lugar: Aula 12

Interest groups have learned to exploit opportunities given by a policy process which is increasingly characterized by multiple opportunity structures in Europe. However, the legitimacy of the political system could be eroded by the corrosive impact of secrecy and undue influence. The regulation of lobbying is one of a suite of measures which Good Government should aim to address through an extensive programme of political and government reform.

Lobbying activities have been a matter of regulation in Europe. Lobbying regulation should not only enforce transparency in the decision-making process, but also should ensure equal access to public information and public officials. By having more transparency, Governments may avoid situations where they can commit corrupted actions. On the other hand, ensuring equality of access in the political arena may boost social participation in the decision-making process. Therefore, the regulation of lobbying activities has to address the interactions between those who try to influence policies and those responsible for elaborating the policies. In the cases presented in this paper, the Intellectual Property Law in France and Spain, we identify risks for a transparent policy making process, due to the no or limited regulation of lobbying activities in these countries.

Vibrant communication and dialogue and close interaction and engagement between government and citizens are central to a well-functioning democracy and are vital to support informed and evidence-based decision making. It also helps ensure that the policy formulation and development process benefits from full information and that all individuals, groups and interests in society have an opportunity to contribute to it. It also supports the political process in finding a balance between competing interests, in fostering consensus and in helping to guide and educate public and political debate. 

Palabras clave: Good Government, transparency, lobbying, corruption, intellectual property, Europe.