The PSD announced on Friday, through an article in the newspaper PÚBLICO, that its parliamentary bench would fail any legislation regulating the representation of legitimate interests, also known as the lobby.
This is not the first time that the PSD has opposed the regulation of the lobby. During the previous legislature, the president of the PSD had defended that the theme “was too sensitive to be dealt with over the course of the elections and that it should be the new composition of the Assembly of the Republic to deal with the issue”, thus the bill proposed by the PS made possible, only because a member of the PSD abstained.
And now that the elections “are not at the door”, new arguments are emerging to fight against the regulation of transparency.
The first argument, even shared with the PCP, is so basic and demagogic that I admit that I did not expect it. The PSD claims that the lobby law prohibits any citizen from speaking, in the street for example, with the president of the parish council without registration, which creates a gap between the elected and the voter. In fact, this is not the reality in any civilized country that has legislation that regulates the representation of legitimate interests, since lobbying is a formal and non-informal procedure used, in the vast majority, by NGOs and businesses that want to be heard. by the legislator, or vice versa.
Over the past two years, bills have already changed several times, mainly to meet the PSD’s new stance on transparency. Doesn’t the PSD understand that, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, in 2019, Portugal scored 62 points (down two levels) and placed below the Western European average (66) and below the average level for all European countries (64)?
Portugal has an endemic problem of corruption. Corruption costs us dearly and, in addition, it stagnates economic development and innovation. Given the scenario, does the PSD assume that the use of transparency processes in relations between public and private entities increases bureaucracy and prevents voters from being elected?
I would like to explain to the beneficiaries that what separates the voter from the elected representative is the lack of confidence in the political class. And things are not going for the best. In fact, this question of transparency should not concern public opinion or lobbyists but the politicians themselves, who should aim for a better reputation.
Increasing the transparency of the processes would unfortunately not end corruption, but it made it more difficult. Regulating lobbying is important because lobbying is a useful tool for democracy. Let us see, the legislator, in most of the cases where it regulates the technical questions, is not in possession of all the information. And you have to put it together. In addition to listening to interested parties. Only then can the law be drafted in a balanced and effective manner. And, in the process, it is important that everyone knows who made the information available, with whom the legislator has met … even for the protection of the political entity itself.
Out of debt, out of danger. And the suspicion that hangs over those who do not approve of transparent processes benefits no one
Is it all that hard to understand? Lobbying exists and will continue to exist because it is necessary. It is therefore perfectly logical to regulate lobbying and lobbyists legally.
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I have been waiting for a decade for a serious and intelligent attitude from the legislator in this regard for almost a decade. They don’t regulate the lobby. Because?
Out of debt, out of danger. And the suspicions that hang over those who do not approve of transparent processes benefit no one.
The author writes under the new spelling contract