Happy Friday y'all! I have been working on both sides for lobbying for most of my career, pooling some 7 years now. This involves working for both industry lobby and NGOs alike, plus having a brief spell with the decision makers in European Parliament. I have close connections within the "Brussels Bubble", as the lobbying and decision making -village is often titled, and occasional first hand knowledge of political decisions shaping Europe.

I chose to remain anonymous for this AMA mainly to speak freely - not because there's much illegal activities taking place, but this allows me to give more juicy details and opinions on situations. Being part of the political activity also comes with certain level of trust. I have also been dealing with some policies related to lobbying within EU, hence this AMA might be a fruitful entry point for more general questions instead of only anecdotal evidence.

For proof, here's my current lobby badge for the institutions.

Comments: 149 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

bonjourlewis38 karma

What is the difference between lobbying and bribery?

Enschede215 karma

Yes, this please? The moral difference?

BRUlobby9 karma

Practical difference is huge. Moral difference more debatable. There was a good ELI5 on this which should sum it up nicely.

bonjourlewis7 karma

Can you elaborate more on the practical difference and can you confirm you would betray your morals for your job ?

BRUlobby14 karma

Some morals I have betrayed for sure. On industry side I did lobby for a cause, which I knew that was environmentally dubious - even if that meant saving jobs and creating well-being for some. I am quite uncomfortable about these issues, as I know many of my colleagues were, but you are doing you job.

But bribery and other illegal acts would be out of the question. Also, in EU lobbying there is very little exchange of goods or money anycase. There is no doubt, that the action is morally questionable and illegal. So practically speaking, the legality of the action is the main divider.

This makes the practical and moral difference a bit harder in terms of lobbying. You are certainly having influence - and you are having influence because someone is investing in influencing. It that sense, it is using money for creating influence, much like lobbying. So that obviously does create a moral dilemma. On the other hand, stakeholders have always had a place in democratic decision making. They provide expert information at the very best with clear and transparent manner. But this means, that there certainly needs to be rules for it. Uncontrolled, shady and dishonest lobbying is not very different from direct bribery.

789qwe21 karma


BRUlobby2 karma

Cheers, there's a reason I changed the employer to someone I can actually live with long term

LaBeteDesVosges13 karma

I am quite uncomfortable about these issues, as I know many of my colleagues were, but you are doing you job.

You're still responsible for betraying your morals and betraying those affected by the policies you're trying to change for some people's gain, you're asked to do it but you're still willingly doing it.

BRUlobby4 karma

Yeap. You ain't wrong.

Only positive thing on saying this out loud is that it's good to awknowledge this. You have to change the industries, not only the lobbyists to make private sector change their approach. They have a huge power, which needs to be changed as well.

Bootiesqt10 karma

There is non positive thing about this. While I do agree the industry needs to change, but so do lobbyists, in fact lobbyists shouldnt exist in the first place.

BRUlobby5 karma

You are not wrong. In ideal world all the information and understanding of the issues would go directly to the decision makers, where they could freely assess it with people who do not have any bias. It would solve many issues for sure. The reality is flawed, and the best we can do is actually bring that information to public

autism_cake2 karma

Just want to say I appreciate your candor. In the end its much more about transparency and legislation than just your job. Sure, it's s bit shady, but that's exactly why I appreciate your open answers.

BRUlobby1 karma

Cheers! Yea the political reality can be very unfair, hence the regulation is needed also for lobbyists

ArrowRobber2 karma

It makes sense that 'lobbying' is paying an expert to be the expert and ensuring they stay the expert. As that is essentially outsourcing advisor roles.

Let politicians be elected without the 'obligations' to their donors, and leave it up to lobbyists to play the 'vote with your $$$' game and to stay socially in the good graces of politicians?

BRUlobby1 karma

Sorry I didn't fully get the question on those care to rephrase?

[deleted]1 karma


BRUlobby6 karma

Lobbying is more legal and open way of bribery

Bebubebu9 karma

Have you ever ended up lobbying for two things that later ended up conflicting with each other? And how does lobbying for both sides work? I'm assuming its different than say the US's 2 party system, but is it something to the same effect?

BRUlobby8 karma

I did in some issues related to financial reporting and corporate transparency. The industry stand was basically looking only on the corporate interest (usually regulatory costs in terms of added admin and possible competitive disadvantages) whereas the civil society had the focus from citizens perspective - but actually also promoting certain standards for SME's (level playing field, access to information, helping tackle criminal financial activity).

The angle is different from who pays your bills. Industry lobbyists basically get their point only from their clients (major corporates) who's interest is often quite conservative, and new regulation is often seen more of a risk, if the current one allows them to work on high profits already. NGOs have more flexibility, but the funding is also coming from somewhere - however, you pick the funders who actually are ready to support your advocacy targets.

In practical terms, the process is very similar from thereon. Meet your likely allies (imagine democrats/republicans), try to influence the opposing side, provide information, tackle misinformation from the opposing lobby. The political landscape is rather similar globally, so in this sense I wouldn't imagine US has many differences - except that the campaign funding from private sector really handicaps minor players.

Mantisbog7 karma

You said "much" as opposed to "no" illegal activities. Please elaborate?

BRUlobby12 karma


There has been cases of bribery and clear violations in the European institutions (e.g. Azerbaijani case) hence it would be a lie to say that those won't exist. I haven't encountered similar cases in my own work, but on the other hand I haven't been involved with more sensitive fields, such as foreign policy, which can be vulnerable for those.

On the other hand, I have had couple of cases, where for example one could expect that MEPs have breached their code of conduct. This would be e.g. not reporting their outside income properly. What is more worrying, is that there have been no punishments for these breaches.

Bunnylove_4 karma

What is the "worst" thing you've heard/seen?

BRUlobby16 karma

Depends how you rank things. I can recall couple of samples:

In the late hours couple of MEP assistants are boozed enough to become utterly racist. MEPs as well, but I haven't really hung out with the more extreme crew. Although I have witnessed one collapsing after a fist fight within the parliament, which was curious for sure.

Some energy intensive industries have lobbied for outrageously environmentally harmful policies. They don't often get them published in their umbrella organisations, who are either more moderate, more realistic, or actually have capable public relations people.

And not really the worst, but I've witnessed morally very questionable astroturfing and misinformation campaigns, that have been targeting social media users in the EU bubble. Like this gem related to pesticides.

hasleo2 karma

onch.... are there a a place to go for you guys when it is too screwed and not within the law ( like dont lose the trust but still whisleblower like)?

BRUlobby3 karma

Yea, European Ombudsman for the institution workers, but most end up leaking stuff when it's too much. Happens occasionally

WhoDoIShip4 karma

I have two:

How often does Brexit come up in discussions?

Your opinion on Brexit? (Yes I am British)

BRUlobby8 karma

  1. In regular banter, all the time. It's in every generalist newsletter mentioned at least twice, and in less formal conversation quite often - especially if someone wants to show that they've read the recent Politico. On policy, not that much - it's more of a curiosity in most files. I bet people on trade think otherwise tho.
  2. It will damage the whole European economy, and British one for sure. Also EU will lose it's international weight as well. On the other hand, many things will continue as usually, but it is a step back towards more difficult and bureaucracy heavy era for the Brits. In certain areas UK can go for less regulation for sure, but those fields will be quite few when they relate to the rest of European markets

havingmares1 karma

Do you think there's any chance it won't happen? Have there been meetings/documents circulated about that?

BRUlobby2 karma

There's always a chance, but no one is really preparing for that. The European policy will mostly continue in its track, no matter if the UK is part of it or not

havingmares1 karma

That's what I thought, thanks for replying. Is there an office sweepstake out of interest?

BRUlobby2 karma

Nah, but we have a pretty good fantasy football mini league ;)

guineapigcalledSteve3 karma

Let's see how human you are, replywithoutthinking: favorite brand of beer?

BRUlobby4 karma


guineapigcalledSteve3 karma

My man! he can be trusted guys!

BRUlobby3 karma

Took me literally a second to answer this ;)

jennix003 karma

How would you compare the relationship between the EU commission and lobbyists to that of US confessional committees and lobbyists?

BRUlobby5 karma

I am not too familiar with the US system, but money is definitely a major difference. There's less sponsorship of the interest groups in most EU countries, as the party funding is public and not run coming directly from the interest groups. There is of course exceptions, but this gives more equal access. In general politicians of course pick up the lobbyists approaching them, but from my experience the industry reps and CSOs have somewhat more equal access in the EU. Otherwise it would be a question of legitimacy.

However, the private sector lobby does have much more generous resources, which of course gives them better access and more material.

fifpeng3 karma

How would you describe what you are doing?

BRUlobby8 karma

95% of the work is rather mundane office tasks. Organising working group and stakeholder meetings, consulting opinions for forming the initial policy stand, organising and participating in meetings for networking, consulting and forming ideas. Plus of course research tasks on producing case studies, collecting data from the field to support your asks for the decision makers.

Then, there's the 5% of events and meetings with the decision makers from the institutions which might have more glamour. This is very regular business relationship usually, with occasional collaboration with your political allies and occasionally providing information for different decision makers on why certain little tweaks in legislation could be better. You can't totally change any opinion, and definitely not legislative macro trends, but small influence is influence enough. I might have some more anecdotal sotries on that later.

mizzihood1 karma

Do you have an estimate on what percent of the additional/not lost income is spent on lobbying by the agencies/companies that use your services?

BRUlobby1 karma

In my workplaces it was minor. But it is surely a lot do that. I don't have exact numbers, but it's a huge market. There was a study on this some years back which might interest you: ALTER-EU survey: registration of lobbying consultancies PDFhttps://www.alter-eu.org › documents › e...

baronmad2 karma

Why in the world does the EU parlimentary give zero fucks for the people of EU? It doesnt care at all about what the actual people want at all (article 11 and 13) as an example, this should had been demolished 2 weeks after the invention of those. But no the vast vast majority of the EU was against this so so much, yet it had to be voted on.

Now that is as much anti democracy as it could ever be in a union that it ever could be without a dictatorship.

So my question would be, why in the world does the EU give zero fucks to their citizens, what they want and wish has zero relevance. We have two possible solutions to this problem:

1: the EU parlimanterians are way too far removed from the people the represent.

2: it is based entirely on money.

Either case it is anti democratic. So which one is it?

BRUlobby2 karma

I'd just say they are politicians. EP aint much different from national level. Whoever claims to be man of the people usually is just more vocal liar than any of the others.

baronmad1 karma

Now that is my own exact take on the matter. Most of them pretend to be for the people, while most of them doesnt give a single shit apart from their own lives.

BRUlobby2 karma

Just as much as you and me pal. I might not be that pessimistic, but long term politicians do often get too messed up with the re-election game among many others

jonbristow2 karma

what did you lobby for most of your career?

BRUlobby3 karma

Energy intensive industries (chemical industry mainly) and financial & non-financial (anything dealing with finances outside banks) industry regulations. Doesn't get much sexier than that.

BrunoIDFK2 karma

What's a Lobbylist?

BRUlobby5 karma

Well dressed hobo who hangs out in hotel lobbies instead of sleeping in the streets and pretends to have lost his or her key when asked.

Nah, it's s person who tries to influence decision makers externally

LoeIQ2 karma

How do we know the lobby badge is yours?

BRUlobby1 karma

Legit question, even though you won't find those things exactly laying around. I'll probs add a picture of initials visible with my ID initials soon, I have a meeting coming up so in some hour or so! Patience ;)

BRUlobby3 karma

Actually made it before, this is the best I came up with atm.e. you can get my nationality out of that as well, funky!

Domcanf1 karma

We get your writing style which is pretty original and recognizable too. ;)

BRUlobby1 karma

Good luck son I am behind 8 proxies ;)

tattsumi2 karma

Interesting read so far! Thanks for doing this.

Is this job paying well enough to just be like "meh" in regards to moral conflictions? Do you have a plan in your mind where you wanna be in like 5 years, or in 10 years? Can you still see yourself doing lobby-work?

BRUlobby2 karma

In industry side some ppl, especially at the corporate lobbies, make a buckload, but only after some 10 years. In NGO you are competing with well doing construction guys. So I wouldn't go for NGOs at least for the money.

And in 5-10 I might change field and go to academia, but nothing bad about this either. If a nice opportunity is open, why not.

Meritania2 karma

I used to work in policy research for an environmental group. Does it either feel like you're either preaching to the converted or coming up against a brick wall? Is there much scope for feeling like you've made an influence to someone who would otherwise support a different viewpoint or decision?

BRUlobby3 karma

First of all, that sounds like a very interesting thing to do :)

Secondly, one lobbyist, or even an organisation can't change major political trends that often. That's why often it's not even worth engaging with some political parties. You try to engage with the ones that are in a core position to make the difference, the others won't surely listen. It's kinda time management question in the end.

Meritania1 karma

Thanks for replying, I wish I spent some time with our lobbyists, they seemed like a great bunch who cared a lot about what they were doing.

Do you have much agency in your role, do you have your own plans on who you get to talk to and when or does your office set out your agenda?

BRUlobby1 karma

Cheers! It's usually bunch of nice and sociable people, despite the negative echo of word "lobbying" has.

Usually lobbyists set their targets when proposing projects for funders or the actors they are representing. So in that sense we do have rather free role. Usually the European policy specialists are trusted to be the ones, who know how effective advocacy is done. Of course within the organisations senior people often set the grand strategy.

vasmat2 karma

Hi there, interesting job for sure. I know someone asked already but could you give us more details on how to get into your field? I'm EU citizen and would be interested to attempt working in your profession. Thank you.

BRUlobby1 karma

Gonna copy the earlier reply here:

Cool! It's not too hard, but be aware that there's a lot of unpaid internships that lead into nothing. Try to prioritize anything with any salary, as the others are often just fillers.

First, it's more about finding a topic that interests you. Do some research and check organisations that sound interesting for you - if you like gender rights, European women's lobby, if you are into birds, BirdLife and Greenpeace, if you are into digital marketing, Google and FB etc.

From skills, generalist education with specialization in the topic, with a European angle, is something to prioritize in the studies. Comms experience, extra languages (French and German) are appreciated. Also, some IT skills, like coding, or at least knowing WordPress and excel properly will help. But check more ongoing pieces of legislation, get familiar with them, and that will give you a good edge.

Also feel free to message me for more details if you have a particular sector in mind ;)

dredalious2 karma

So, what’s the latest about lootboxes? (I mean, this is Reddit, filled with gamers etc) 😅

BRUlobby3 karma

Excellent questions. I hope I find a monkey dick from.

caniredditnow2 karma

It's an industry I've always been very interested in. How did you begin your career?

BRUlobby4 karma

After my master's (politology) I went to do an internship in one of the organisations mostly out of curiosity. Then it kinda just went from one place for another, as things tend to do. It is curious field, let me know if you want hints!

becomingarobot1 karma

Interesting reads, thanks.

I'm not from the EU and I listen to the Economist, but it's fairly hard to get a good judgement on - broadly - what the future of the EU looks like. Based on the much greater experience you have than I do, can you make any at all prediction for either a tighter, even federalized union in the future, or a more fragmented area based on national interest?

BRUlobby1 karma

I am not a macropolitical expert at all, but so far despite the rise of Eurosceptics and the Brexit, there has been no signs of lesser European integration. It's still far from federal state system, despite the nationalist fears. The next EP election might shake the status quo, but I doubt it will.

becomingarobot1 karma

Can you recommend a good newspaper, podcast, mailing list, media etc., one can join from outside the EU that gives a well rounded, somewhat technical, perspective on important internal EU affairs?

BRUlobby1 karma

Euractiv and Politico EU seem to be the main magazines in the bubble. Latter also has couple of podcasts and rather interesting topical newsletters.

TheyCallMeCowboyJohn1 karma

1) How can I become a lobbyist ?

2) Are you European ? If yes, do you think you betray yourself/family/mutuals/country after a succesful day ?


BRUlobby2 karma

  1. Answered this a couple of times
  2. Nah, especially now when I am working for an organisation which I can believe in

TheyCallMeCowboyJohn1 karma

Thanks !

BRUlobby1 karma

No problem at all :)

resorcinarene1 karma

Imagine I'm a pro-Brexit brit. How would you convince me I'm a fucking idiot? Now do it like Nick Naylor on Thank You For Smoking.

BRUlobby2 karma

I wouldn't really focus on that. I would rather focus on people more willing to change their attitude rather than the well committed Brexiteers. There's no magic bullets on how to change anyone's mind, just the usuals - provide facts, numbers, statistics, plus shoot down false claims and arguments. If anyone would know how to do it any better, they would.

resorcinarene1 karma

I'd imagine it's pretty difficult to get people to shift on stupid ideas they consider part of their identity.

BRUlobby1 karma

So do I. For that you need a psychologist, not a field specific public policy specialist

lordfobizer1 karma

Hi !
I'm actually thinking about finding a lobbying job in Brussels, and I had a few questions about the job :
What is your career path ?
What are the most necessary skills to be efficient in your job ?

Thank you for your answers !

BRUlobby3 karma

Cool! It's not too hard, but be aware that there's a lot of unpaid internships that lead into nothing. Try to prioritize anything with any salary, as the others are often just fillers.

First, it's more about finding a topic that interests you. Do some research and check organisations that sound interesting for you - if you like gender rights, European women's lobby, if you are into birds, BirdLife and Greenpeace, if you are into digital marketing, Google and FB etc.

From skills, generalist education with specialization in the topic, with a European angle, is something to prioritize in the studies. Comms experience, extra languages (French and German) are appreciated. Also, some IT skills, like coding, or at least knowing WordPress and excel properly will help. But check more ongoing pieces of legislation, get familiar with them, and that will give you a good edge.

Also feel free to message me for more details if you have a particular sector in mind ;)

stroopwaffen1 karma

Any tips for someone interested in lobbying for the energy sector (especially in matters regarding to a more integrated european energy market, which I would assume is in the interest of many companies?).

BRUlobby2 karma

Oh there's plenty. Any national energy industry is very interested of European policy professionals. Plus there's bunch of different umbrella organisations in the topic, plus all energy intensive industry reps. I'll give exact named in pm if you need some ;)

mechakek1 karma

how does it feel to be part of the massive corruption and political nepotism currently plaguing the western world?

BRUlobby1 karma

Currently pretty ok as I am not with the corporate side :)

mechakek1 karma

then what do you lobby for exactly?

BRUlobby1 karma

Let's say that I am the opposite of corporates who lobby for financial secrecy. There's a lot of small NGOs who try to tackle profit shifting of digital giants like Apple

mechakek1 karma

eh whatever. lobbyists are still all the plague of the earth.

i mean...i support democracy. not taxation schemes lobbied for

BRUlobby1 karma

The system does have many flaws, I do understand your frustration. Currently the nature of lobbying is tied very tightly to the political system itself. Personally I just sleep my nights better knowing that at least I am having a cause I can stand with.

mechakek1 karma

but you said before that you lobbied for corporate interests

BRUlobby1 karma

Earlier in my career yes

easternblues1 karma

I am from Poland and hoping you will still look at this AMA :) My question is what is being thought of Poland's difficult government right now in EU? And what we – as citizens – can do to stay in EU?

BRUlobby1 karma

Surely the Polish government has been causing some issues lately, and many EU actors consider that as a risk. It is rather ironic, considering the economic growth in Poland which has followed the EU membership. I have quite a lot of polish friends who are rather embarrassed regarding the issue, and I sympathize strongly with them. Especially the basics of democracy, like independence of judicial system have taken such steps back that it is especially alarming for the Poles themselves.

I don't know the political sphere in Poland strongly enough to give any proper advice. However, I would be active in civil society organisations and movements which call of the alarming actions and bring a perspective to both online and offline reality. The ruling PiS has to also change from the inside, unless it aims to wreck the whole democratic system. Remind people of the recent Soviet rule and don't focus too much on immigration. I feel that it is only an excuse and a scapegoat. The real debate is elsewhere and people should engage with it.

zyxzevn1 karma

How can the system become more democratic or fair?

BRUlobby2 karma

Same possibilities road access decision makers are needed, and of course transparency. I don't think there is a silver bullet, but organisations like Transparency International did have some recommendations on this IIRC

L-Carnitin1 karma

Are you european?

BRUlobby1 karma

Yup, also from the EU

Straya_Cunt1 karma

Hey man, super interesting AMA. I got 2 topics:

  1. What're your working hours like? What kind of work-life balance can people in your field expect? I imagine things can get hectic when shit hits the fan.

  2. How competitive is the field? Do you have an estimate how many people with jobs like yours are in the bubble you mentioned?

BRUlobby2 karma

  1. Better than in South Europe, worse than North. Usually nine hours, but at least 5 months closer to ten eleven a day. It's not too bad compared to my friends e.g. in Spain

  2. In early stages very competitive. Further you to, the market actually changes, and it's quite hard to find proper public affairs managers for this kind of a job. I would assume there is some 30k somewhat related jobs in Brussels, but actual hard lobbying mid level people are closer to 2-5k, depending how you define it

AnimiLimina1 karma

That is a very interesting read so far, thank you.

You shorty mentioned Brexit. Did the industry try to influence Britain towards a stay and were just not loud enough or did they got blind sided like the rest of us?

BRUlobby1 karma

They definitely were at least 95% against Brexit. Most knew the risks way beforehand, and actually had the numbers. They had little to no reason to jump on Brexit boat.

aleqqqs1 karma

Who's your employer? A stock listed company, or some bureau made specifically for lobbying, paid by various large companies?

Also, why are decision makers in the EU listening to you and your opinion, fully knowing you're a lobbyist? Are they asking for your opinion? Are you considered an expert in specific fields?

BRUlobby1 karma

Now an NGO, previously couple of industry reps who were much like the Federation of British Industries. So basically paid by the whole industry itself.

Well, some are not listening to me. Some are, also because I am an expert of my field indees. There is no neutral expertise, and every decision maker has their underlying tendencies to go for certain lobbyists. They might also listen others, but consider their rationale flawed. As we know, there is quite a lot of win-lose scenarios in this world, so it is often a question of political preference.

juhuhui1 karma

For how many years have you been doing this job? How much you earn at the beginning, and what do you earn now?

BRUlobby1 karma

Seven, as mentioned. I didn't make the ends meet I first internship, in private sector with my experience I could make up to 7k I imagine, but currently it is less than half of that.

iceviking1 karma

How could i lobby to get weed legalized in the EU ? Where would i start, what should i be doing?

BRUlobby2 karma

I have been in way too conservative lobbies to give a good plan for this. Secondly, I am not sure if EU actually can regulate that for the whole market.

But probably the easiest way would be through medical weed organisations, local advocacy groups, collectives and VERY specializes think thanks. I wouldn't be surprised if you find a weed lobby in the EU with little googling.

qocbd1 karma

I've heard lobbyists make a shit ton, especially in pharma. I'm in my first year of college.

Right now I'm in econ looking to go into i-banking or some type of related field in the future, but I'm down to switch. Is it as competitive as finance? What degree should I go for, is it a good paying field, etc.

Basically if you could do it over, would you?

BRUlobby1 karma

In all honesty, you can do so much better money in private sector. Even if you are one of the top lobbyists, you can never compete even with banks in financial sector.

Also in EU lobby there's less money than in states.

And would I do it over? Probs nah, but that's not a career thing. I've just had plenty of fun with the less salary way and very legit life anyway

MostConcert1 karma

Hi thanks for doing this

  1. What would make your job easier?

  2. What do you plan to do after this lobbying stint, or is it long term for you? Alternatively what would you ideally like to do (but may too difficult/effort/a dream)?

  3. How have your views on your country and its role within the EU, the EU itself, business and society etc changed since you started working within this sphere?

That's all i have for now, feel free to answer whichever you feel comfortable (if any)

BRUlobby2 karma

Cheers! A pleasure :)

  1. Tbh mostly regular things as in any other work, like stability of the organisation etc. From the lobbying perspective, me, like many of my colleagues in all the representations where I've worked, are very keen on transparency. Lobbying has a nasty cling on it, and adding openness would improve the reputation.
  2. Hard to tell really - I ended up with the job by accident, and it seems that accident will also keep me here. But it is likely, as with many of the lobbyists, that eventually the revolving door will take me to the decision making side within the institutions. Alternatively, I would like to go and do a PhD though, but that can wait while this is fun.
  3. For sure. Mostly it has been a very disillusioning experience - many of the decisions are based on rather little knowledge, which makes lobbying also important for exchange of information. Most national politicians seem often incompetent or just badly informed about things - possibly 20% of MEPs do 90% of the actual work, while others either follow or ramble on less relevant topics. The national level decision makers (and especially the public) are often 2-3 years behind in the debate, and only wake up when it's becoming reality for them.

MostConcert2 karma

Wow that last part is particularly eye opening, a concerning disconnect too.

I appreciate the answers, good luck with your future plans👍

Not sure if the thread is still live but i forgot to mention that linking this to /r/askeurope subreddit would drive good traffic and questions, maybe next time if you ever return

Thanks again

BRUlobby1 karma

Cheers! I might do one in another chill day, good to hear you enjoyed :)

dredalious1 karma

For nbr 2. The opposite happens a lot as well, top level civil servant that become lobbyists (our previous director did that, in the same field no less)

Nbr 3. Unfortunately confirms my experiences as well, most are clueless and without substance.

BRUlobby1 karma

  1. Exactly, revolving doors is a thing
  2. Yap. Sad.

hasleo1 karma

How do you speak your case to people who are opposed to the agenda you are repensenting, how would you try to win them over or at least pull them more to your side? And how do you cope with language, since not all speaks English and French?

BRUlobby1 karma

About the language, mostly the official working languages, English and French get me by. In couple of exceptions I go for some rarer languages I know ( Nordic ones) but in general it won't happen much.

To the earlier one, I would imagine this reply answers it better:

"Secondly, one lobbyist, or even an organisation can't change major political trends that often. That's why often it's not even worth engaging with some political parties. You try to engage with the ones that are in a core position to make the difference, the others won't surely listen. It's kinda time management question in the end."

RRRuza1 karma

Thank you for all your responses, a very interesting read.

Since I can't think of any questions specific to your profession that haven't been asked yet - what's your favourite place in Brussels to have a pint and why?

BRUlobby3 karma

Any at Place Londres, I usually go only for after-work. In weekends St Gilles or Flagey. Particularly Maison de peuple mainly because of friends

IgamOg1 karma

Very interesting AMA. What's your opinion on EU? Knowing what happens behind the screens do you trust EU to work in our best interests?

BRUlobby4 karma

In all honesty, judging from what I know from my colleagues working in national level, EU mess ain't much different from that one. I've become surprisingly keen on having the Union around. The main concerns are more about it can be made better and more equal, as globally speaking European nations don't have much individual power. It's not so much about trusting it, than understanding its necessity

eplogie1 karma


I hope I'm not too late! I am very interested in this field and I was wondering if you could tell us some more about the kind of experience and education you and your colleagues have had before landing this job. Like, what are the most common degrees, job experiences or internships people do before ending up in this field of work?

Also, what's your favorite part of the job? The worst part (aside from the morally ambiguous part)?

Thank you in advance :)

BRUlobby2 karma

You are not! As mentioned I have a degree in Political science, which is most common with European Studies, International relationships and (European) Law. I did freelance journalism and was active in different student bodies before starting my first internship in the EU policy. This seems to be very common, many people also have a background in one party or another.

And easily the best thing is the people. You mean like-minded, very comprehensively thoughtful people on daily basis. I've met interesting and nice people and befriended many of them also in work related circumstances :)

eplogie1 karma

Alright thank you for the answer!

I just started a bachelor's in communications but I'm still kind of on the fence about it, hence the question. Sounds like you have a great job though!

Btw, did you watch 'thank you for smoking' (a movie about a lobbyist), and if so, is it accurate and in what way?

BRUlobby1 karma

Well, as good as any, if one is into politics it might be curious for sure. And there's always rooms for Comms ppl on this field ;)

Sry, haven't seen it. I'd say probably too dramatised by default :P

eplogie1 karma

Ah that's good to hear! I'm still figuring out what direction I want to go in anyway so I'll stick with it for now.

The movie is great, pretty dramatised yes but it gives a different perspective on controversial issues (the guy lobbies for big tobacco) it's also really funny so I'd recommend it!

BRUlobby2 karma

Best of luck! I better check the movie, sounds like a fun one! I think tobacco lobbies in EU operate nowdays mostly thru consultancies as their reputation is too bad for direct lobbying

enishte1 karma

Do you support Kosovo or Serbia ?

BRUlobby1 karma

No great opinion really, I am not very Balkans oriented, barely aware of some details

laidmajority1 karma

What do insiders think and say about Juncker?

BRUlobby1 karma

Well, even though everyone's knowing that he likes a drink (even before he became the EC President), he is actually fairly well liked. Especially in the colleague of Commissioners he seems to be one of the more sane ones

JBinero1 karma

How do interest groups validate you are being effective? How do they know what you as a lobbyist achieved? How do they see your influence?

BRUlobby2 karma

They usually set targets, sometimes on policy outcomes, sometimes more numerical like amount of policy briefs, meetings with officials, research pieces, hosted events on a specific topic of their interest etc.

Usually half of the point is showing the stakeholders what's actually happening in Brussels. I'd say that a typical industry lobbyists ends up using from 30 to 80% of his or her tasks on just making the national level actors understand, what is happening, what could be done to it, and how effective that could even be. New actors in Brussels often have very unrealistic expectations, but most know how limited the influence is

TangoZuluMike1 karma

Is what you do as a lobbyist in the EU different from what a lobbyist in the US does?

BRUlobby1 karma

I don't know the US field much, but I would imagine it is mostly very similar. Although private campaign funding might mean that some lobbyists have a very privileged position when it comes to lobbying, while the others don't.

DiManes0 karma

As a politician, were you completely soulless from birth, or did you become soulless over time?

BRUlobby4 karma

Never been a politician, only worked for one. And well, they ain't soulless, mostly just incompetent and in their bubble as much as anyone else. Like said before, maybe 20% are doing anything worth mentioning