Lobbying and advocacy are important tools for individuals and groups seeking toinfluence policy decisions at the EU level. On Saturday, 11 March 2023, a group of 50 students of the College of Europe in Natolin participated in the workshop on Lobbying and Advocacy organised by the Student Affairs and Professional Development Office and conducted by Mr Glen HODGSON, the founder of the think tank Free Trade Europa, leading also a stakeholder initiative on the future of work in the Nordics.
The workshop began with an overview of the theory of lobbying and advocacy and the speaker explained the various strategies used by lobbyists and advocates to influence policy decisions, including direct lobbying, coalition building and indirect lobbying. He also presented the ethical issues surrounding lobbying and advocacy, such as conflicts of interest and transparency.
The seminar then shifted to a discussion of EU institutions and their role in the policymaking process. Mr HODGSON explained how the various bodies that make up the EU, such as the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union, develop and implement policy, discussing also the role of interest groups in this process, and how they can effectively engage with EU institutions to influence policy decisions. Next, the workshop featured a case study concluding with presentations from students on their advocacy plans for specific policy issues.
The Lobbying and Advocacy workshop was a valuable learning opportunity and provided students with practical insights into how they can effectively engage with EU institutions to shape policy decisions.