In response to the growing influence of the lobbying and public relations industries there have been calls for greater regulation and disclosure on what they do on behalf of their clients.
Following calls by European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas for greater regulation of the lobbying industry David Earnshaw, the managing director of the Brussels office of Burson-Marsteller subsidiary BKSH & Associates, argued self-regulation was sufficient. "If you regulate strictly, the people who get hurt are the little people -- the people who do not have a voice -- not the people who can bend the rules," he told the Washington Times. 
He also argued that the commission would have difficulty gaining agreement on defining who a lobbyist is: "If you are a Socialist, business is the lobbyist; but if you are a Christian Democrat, NGOs like Greenpeace are the lobbyists."
Brussels, home to the European Commission, has also become home to "over 15,000 lobbyists (more than one for every European Commission official) but just 10 per cent of these represent environmental and social groups," according to a recently-released report. "A massive industry of corporate lobbying has grown up in Brussels with overwhelming influence on European trade policy. Yet the relationship between the European Commission and the corporate lobby is almost entirely unregulated, unaccountable and conducted behind closed doors," says Dave Timms of the UK-based World Development Movement, one of the groups that produced the report. 
Other SourceWatch articles
Lobbying Regulatory Schemes
- Byrd Amendment on government lobbying (U.S.)
- Foreign Agents Registration Act (U.S.)
- Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (U.S.)
- Regulating lobbying/Australia
- Regulating lobbying/Canada
- Regulating lobbying/Europe
Lobbyists Professional Associations
- Association of Professional Political Consultants (UK)
- European Public Affairs Consultancies Association (EPACA)
- Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP)
- Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd, "Lobbyists", September 28, 1987 (updated 1989).(This is a detailed review of the evolution of the practice of lobbying in the U.S. with some material on its regulation).
- Gareth Harding, "Analysis: Reining in EU lobbyists", Washington Times, March 8, 2005.
- Europe: Kallas's Intentions", Public Affairs News, October 2005, pages 28-29.
- Tom Spencer, "Amateur Ire", 'Public Affairs News, October 2005, page 31.
- Andrew Rettman, "Brussels stutters over transparency text", EUObserver.com, October 24, 2005.
- War on Want, "Report exposes role of corporate lobbyists in setting EU trade agenda", , Media release, 21 November 2005.
- Glen Justice, "After Scandal, McCain Offers Bill to Tighten Lobbying Rules", ""New York Times, December 17, 2005.
- Margaret Warner, "The Washington Lobbying World", "NewsHour", PBS, January 6, 2006.
- Jan Witold Baran, "Can I Lobby You?: Don't Let One Bad Abramoff Spoil the Whole Bunch", Washington Post, January 8, 2006; Page B01.
- Jim Drinkard, "Lawmakers move to cut lobbyists' influence", USA Today, January 11, 2006.
- Ari Berman, "Everyone's a Reformer", The Nation, January 13, 2006.
- Daniel Leblanc, "Top lobbyists brace for new set of rules", Globe and Mail, January 20, 2006 Page A1.
- Leah Rush and David Jimenez, "States Outpace Congress in Upgrading Lobbying Laws: 24 states have made disclosure strides since 2003", Center for Public Integrity, March 1, 2006.
- "EU lobbyists okay 'minimum' transparency rules", EUActiv, September 8, 2006.