Lifting the Lid on Lobbying – Towards Transparency, Integrity and Equality of Lobbying in Bulgaria

Lifting the Lid on Lobbying in Bulgaria

A study on self-regulation of lobbying

8 July 2015

The Responsible Lobbying Guide is an effort of Transparency International to present the guiding practices and standards in the area of self-regulation of lobbying. It aims to help lobbyists, executives and activists from the private and non-profit sectors understand:

1. What is meant by ‘responsible lobbying’,
2. The principles that underpin responsible lobbying and political engagement, and
3. How those principles should be applied in practice.

The text can be downloaded here.

The guide is divided into four sections. The first section provides an overview of common lobbying techniques, describes how lobbying can be abused, and then explains what we mean by responsible lobbying. The following section provides an explanation of the five principles for responsible lobbying, how they might be implemented, together with examples of how companies, professional bodies and non-profit groups have applied these principles in practice. The third section contains ten hypothetical scenarios that should help the practitioner reflect on some of the ethical dilemmas faced by lobbyists, executives and activists; the possible approaches they might take in facing those dilemmas; and some of the principles at stake in each scenario. Finally, we provide a summary of existing resources and helpful guides to lobbying published over the past ten years.

The Responsible Lobbying in Europe report identifies and analyses initiatives used by professional lobbyists to build trust among their stakeholders, to prevent abuse when engaging with policy makers and to promote responsible lobbying. These measures include:

  1. Professional codes of conduct and training facilitated by Public Relations and lobbying associations
  2. Standard setting initiatives led by organisations such as the UN Global Compact and the International Corporate Governance Network
  3. Reporting standards produced by the Global Reporting Initiative and others
  4. The study also reviews available data and analysis on the implementation of these and other global initiatives to promote responsible lobbying. It does not evaluate the performance of individual programmes or the implementation of those programmes by individual firms.
  5. Civil society professionals and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practitioners who are interested in learning about initiatives aimed at promoting responsible lobbying standards within the private sector. The research should also help promote responsible lobbying standards within the non-profit sector.

Both publications have been produced by TI Ireland in the framework of the “Lifting the Lid on Lobbying initiative”.


Co-funded by the
Prevention of and Fight against Crime
Programme of the European Union