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The lobbying sector in France, in Brussels and the United States: differences and influences

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  1. Introduction
  2. H&M: Fashion
    1. History
    2. Competitors
  3. Zara
    1. History
    2. A unique design
  4. Communication strategies
  5. Co-branding
  6. H&M and viral marketing
  7. Conclusion

Lobbying is not a recent practice. The impression is due to the weight that it has gained in recent years as well as the media coverage that it has received. Etymologically, the lobby is the equivalent of the "Salle des Pas Perdus" in the British House of Commons. During the nineteenth century, pressure groups discussed and tried to influence the MPs before the elections.

The development of the practice of lobbying in every country is linked with the expanded range of tasks entrusted to the State. To address these often complex issues, highly trained, legislators need information that may be given by a lobbyist on specialist subjects. Specifically, lobbying is aimed at directly or indirectly to influence the process of developing and implementing government decisions (laws, norms, and rules) in order to preserve or enhance private interests.

Nevertheless, the practice of lobbying is totally different from the U.S. where it is common and accepted, whereas in France, it is hidden. It is this difference that we will look into and try to make a comparison. The study of the specificities of each method of lobbying will produce evidence on the differences and the influences of each model.

When dealing with lobbying in France, we are tempted to write that there is not or at least not clearly. Indeed, no display on his business card the lobbying profession as no company dares to make public the fact that it employs people in order to guide legislation.

However, this assumption is far from reflecting reality. Two types of lobbying coexist in France and are strongly influenced by historical, political and cultural development. There is first the lobbying of private interests which remains the most traditional form of lobbying, but is also rejected by the public as we shall see in this game. The other form of lobbying aims to defend public interests and as such is fully recognized.

The political and philosophical justification of the activities of pressure groups preceded the ratification of the Constitution of the United States. One of the founders of the nation, James Madison, discusses this issue in "the Federal Paper", series of articles he wrote with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to encourage States to ratify the constitution. He said the action of pressure groups is essential to American democracy and its limitation will be by open competition between groups and a series of laws responsible for framing.

A little later, John Kennedy in 1956, had emphasized the role of lobbyists' pressure groups are, in many cases, composed of experts able to explain clearly and intelligibly complex issues." At that time, most pressure groups representing economic interests, mainly those companies and unions. Since the 60s, there is proliferation of advocacy groups for specific causes.

Among the lobbyists most influential in the U.S., we can cite Common Cause, which advocates a range of causes, including improving government ethics and reform of Congress and Public Citizen, a set of groups' pressure led by Ralph Nader and attempting to influence government policy in many areas of the environment to the regulatory reform.

The political culture of Europe and the United States is different and shows two considerations with regard to the phenomenon of pressure groups. The Anglo-Saxon political culture is unique insofar as lobbying is accepted, recognized and regulated. It would ensure that the sum of personal interests contributes to the emergence of the public interest. In Europe, the context is different.

That the State should define which are the general interest and the means to achieve this balance? Pressure groups do not belong to a recognized political party; it shall be considered a deviation from the operation of state and political system. However, lobbying in Europe is developing more and more and this is partly due to the failure of the welfare state. Thus, the techniques of lobbying and the action of multiple interest groups with policy makers, administrative, technical appeared in Europe and especially in the framework of institutions and powers of the European Union.

Tags: lobbying sector, lobbying in France, Brussels, United States, differences and influences in lobbying

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