Lobbing in EU – Central Europe far behind

Western Europe dominates lobbying in the EU

Recent article in Politico Europe confirmed what LMI has been alarming for a very long time – the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are not involved in EU lobbying. Because of that suffer interests of their citizens and enterprises.

Lobbyists spent a record €1.7 billion influencing the European institutions in 2016, with only 5 % of that figure coming from countries that joined the bloc after 2004 (including Poland). For comparison, 20% of the EU population and 8.2% of GDP (source: Eurostat) belong to the “new countries”.

This difference is largely a consequence of the stronger position of large enterprises from Western Europe. However, disproportions are also visible in the NGOs sector. Meanwhile, non-European countries place their visibility on the EU arena. For instance, Morocco spent more money for lobbying this year than Cyprus or Bulgaria in 2016.The consequences of this situation are not difficult to predict – interests of new Member States will not be taken into consideration when making up key decisions within EU.

LMI at European forum

Labour Mobile Initiative from the very beginning of their activity underlines that citizens and enterprises from our part of Europe have to get involved in dialogue within the European Union. In order to persuade European decision makers to their rights there are needed solid analysis, reliable data and presence at the most important events in Europe. President of LMI emphasized the lobbying importance in his opening speech during V European Labour Mobility Congress.

“Dear entrepreneurs, you must not be passive anymore. In order for the politicians not to fight you, you must be more likable. It does not really matter what you do. It does not really matter whether you comply with the rules. It is important that people speak well about you and in order for us to achieve that you have to be actively engaged, you have to be more committed.”

During the recent stage of works on the revision of posting directive the Labour Mobile Initiative was the only voice at the European forum representing companies from Central and Eastern Europe. We have participated in many conferences in Europe as well as in over 80 meetings in Brussels. The annual European Labour Mobility Congress gathers the most significant experts of European labour market. Unfortunately, the direction of works on the posting directive reflects the existing imbalance of power: the largest trade unions from Western Europe and global concerns remain the most powerful.

Next step: coordination of social security system

Currently, we are working intensively on changes in the EU coordination of social security systems. According to the amendments proposed by European Commission posted workers will have to pay  contributions in the country of temporary work. We are doing our best to protect workers in this regard from being charged with additional costs and formalities.

Labour Mobility Initiative

Labour Mobility Initiative is Europe’s largest think thank dealing with work, mobility and posting of workers. Since 2013 it has been bringing together scholars, enterpreneurs, trade unions and public administration to create the only Polish and the largest European substantive forum for exchanging knowledge on the posting of workers in the framework of freedom to provide services. more >>>