Skip to Content

Definition of the term lobbying

In a Supreme Court decision United States v. Harris (1954) which established the constitutionality of the act about the federal regulation of lobbying of 1946, lobbying was defined as direct attempts to influence legislation through direct interaction with Congressmen.

O. Liubimov, a representative of Russian constitutionalism, notes that lobbying is a collection of norms which regulate the interaction (participation) of citizens, civic groups, organizations, institutions that specialize in lobbying activities, other matters of legal relations with government administration, in order to achieve influence on the ratification of decisions necessary for lobbyists and for an active protection of their interests.

American scholars G. Fergusin and D. MacHenry emphasized already in the 1950s that, above all, lobbying should be viewed as the realization of the constitutional right of every citizen to petition government institutions, mainly the legislative branch.

Hungary’s law “On Lobbying” (2006) understands lobbying as a paid activity that is meant to influence government and legislative policies.

In a lecture at the Special Committee on Government Management Issues of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain (2009), devoted to regulating lobbying, this concept was defined as acts of consulting organizations on issues of understanding, monitoring and working with the government administrative systems.

In an official commentary of the Canadian Act on Lobbying (Lobbying Act Lobbyists Registration Regulations of 2008), lobbying is understood as any act which is directed at a government official involving financial compensation for the purpose of changing federal laws, resolutions, policies or programs.

A lecture at the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe e defines lobbying as coordinated efforts to influence the formation of policies and ratifying decisions of the governing body and elected representatives with the goal of solidifying certain interests among them.

The draft of Ukraine’s law “On Lobbying,” developed by a special working group of the Ministry of Justice, correlates lobbying with a legitimate influence generated by people, registered and accredited in a designated manner (lobbyists and lobbying groups).  They may lobby government institutions, officials or employees for their own interests or in the interests of a third party that recruited them (with or without payment) during the time of their taking part in decisions of normative legal acts.

Separate attention should be accorded the designation of lobbying in international relations.  It is found in the Ukrainian Diplomatic Encyclopedia:  Lobbying in international relations – activity of social groups which defend their political and economic interests, the interests of states, coalition of states or coalitions of transnational corporations in international relations; groups exerting pressure on national or international legislative or administrative organs with the purpose of taking decisions in interest of the lobby.   Lobbying is considered a significant element in international cooperation management processes, in the exchange of information in the political process which guarantees the continuation of democratic institutions and societies.  Transparency in lobbying counteracts manipulation in international relations and surfaces groups which are interested in passing foreign policy or international decisions due to certain lobbying interests. Thus, pressure groups play a clear role in the foreign policy sphere.

References:

 

1. Нестерович В.Ф. Етимологія та феномен поняття «лобіювання»: гносеологічний вимір // Бюлетень Міністерства юстиції України. – 2010. – № 1. – С. 40-51.

2. Нестерович В.Ф. Основні підходи до визначення поняття «лобіювання»// Вісник Луганського державного університету внутрішніх справ імені Е.О. Дідоренка. – 2010. – № 1. – С. 50-58.

3. Українська дипломатична енциклопедія, том 1, СС. 738-739