Universiteit Leiden

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Symposium: Lobbying for better or for worse?

Thursday 25 April 2019
Registration for this event is free but mandatory; check out the registration link below.
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague

Lobby Regulation

Lobbying has a rather sketchy reputation amongst the public. Cases like the dividend tax or ‘Dieselgate’ may give the impression that policies are often made to benefit a select set of powerful actors, rather than the general public. But are such fears actually warranted? Recently, the European Parliament decided that rapporteurs and committee chairs have to make public which interest representatives they meet.  But how useful is the often-heard call for more lobby regulation and can such instruments contribute to increasing the democratic legitimacy of interest representation?

In order to answer such questions the symposium brings together academics and practitioners who will discuss the role of interest groups in contemporary governance and the extent to which they can contribute to the legitimacy of public policy-making.


The symposium starts with a presentation on the key findings from two large, international research projects on the relationship between interest groups and the public funded by the Dutch NWO and the Danish Council for Independent Research (see www.govlis.eu). Thereafter, two leading academics on lobbying regulation from Trinity College Dublin will present findings from their latest cross-national research of lobby regulations covering 17 countries. Finally, a roundtable including academics and practitioners will discuss issues related to transparency and lobbying.

Given that the aim of the symposium is to exchange experiences from practice and research, the event is open for all practitioners who work in the public affairs sector, or encounter lobbying and advocacy professionally (such as journalists, advocates, politicians and civil servants). We also invite students interested in the topic.

Register here for the Symposium: Lobbying for better or for worse?

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 16.00 – 16.45

 Keynote Speeches

 - Professor Anne Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen, University of Bergen and Leiden University), Principal Investigator of the GovLis Research Programme

- Professor Raj Chari and Dr. Michele Crepaz (Trinity College Dublin)


 16.45 – 18.00

 Roundtable Discussion: covering topics such as lobby regulation and transparency, legitimacy and the democratic value of lobbying, followed by a Q&A

  •  Professor Public Affairs Arco Timmermans (Leiden University)
  • Eline Huisman (Journalist and Author Book 'Lobbyland')
  • Bernard Wientjes (Entrepeneur, Former chair of VNO-NCW and Professor Entrepeneurship and Leadership at Utrecht University)




Register here for the Symposium: Lobbying for better or for worse?

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