Britain has a long-term lobbying tradition. In 1990, parliament members issued a proposal to form a register of lobbyists, which was refused by the House of Commons. In 1994, John Major founded a committee for standards in public life, forbidding interest groups from closing deals with politicians. MPs are forbidden to contact interest groups. Two professional associations of lobbyists exist in Britain: The Association of Professional Political Consultants and The Institute of Public Relations.
There are no rules regulating the activities of interest groups in either chambers of parliament.
Legislation allows interest groups to contact parliament committee members. Lobbyists have a duty to declare their names to committees' archives. This registration is only for information and has no legal impact.
Interest groups that want to lobby the government have to be registered within a public list of lobbyists, which is updated annually. The list shows names of the lobbyists, names of their organizations and their main representatives, address, region and main areas of interest.
France has few regulations controlling lobbyist activities. However, there are laws that indirectly modify the activities of lobbyists, particularly when it comes to their access to decision makers.
Legislation regulating lobbying has not yet been approved by parliament although there have been several efforts to do so. Lobbying legislation was on the Italian parliament's agenda between 1983 and 1987 and 1992. The Upper Chamber of Parliament is regulated by similar rules as those in France, in terms of regulating access to premises. In this case however, restrictions don't apply to parliament committees, although interest groups are not provided access to libraries and meeting rooms.
13. Jun 2005 at 0:00