Transparency and lobbying
Lobbying is an activity that attempts to sway a public official towards a particular decision, usually relating to government policy or a piece of legislation.
We believe lobbying is central to a healthy democracy, enabling differing voices – such as consumer groups, big and small businesses or workers’ representatives - to shape government decisions. However, it is important to know who is using their influence and how they are impacting upon laws and decisions. This will help ensure that the needs of the world’s poorest communities do not go unheard.
That’s why, throughout our Hungry for change campaign, we called for checks on the power of global food companies, requiring them to report on the lobbying they do and their impacts on human rights.
Transparent lobbying activity is also in line with commitments the government made in 2010 and reflects the focus on transparency at the G8 summit. It will provide the UK with a valuable approach to decision-making that can act as a model for other countries too.
Some of our work on lobbying and transparency
- The lobbying bill
In July 2013 the government published a bill to make lobbying fairer. But it fell far short of what is needed. Thousands of you joined us in asking your MP for a fair and effective bill – and many MPs delivered your messages in Parliament. The bill has now been passed which means it is set to become law. While the government insisted on passing a law that fails to increases lobbying transparency in any meaningful way and also restricts genuine campaigning activity in the run up to elections, with your support we will continue to fight the worst impacts of the bill.
- EU transparency law
Members of EU governments (including the UK) are deciding on what a new draft law might look like; the law would require big companies to report on their human rights impacts and their effect on the environment. The government wants to water down this law, but we know how valuable it could be in making sure workers in the world’s poorest countries get a fair deal. If you took our Hungry for change action then you are helping pressure the government to do the right thing and make the law effective. Read more.