EPACA and its Code of Conduct are officially recognized by the EU institutions and aim to ensure high professional standards of practice for the public affairs consultancy profession.
In an age where transparency and ethics in the public arena are under ever-closer scrutiny, it is in the interest of public affairs consultancies to ensure that they and their employees abide by and are protected by accepted policies, codes and regulation.
EPACA is the only professional body at EU level representing the interests of public affairs consultancies. It serves its members through three main pillars of activity:
1) Promotion of the profession’s interests and reputation
The Code of Conduct for EU public affairs practitioners is at the core of EPACA’s ability to promote the profession. This Code is recognized by the European Commission and European Parliament and is the basis for EPACA members’ essential ‘licence to operate’. It presents our work as public affairs professionals as contributing to a healthy democratic and transparent process, acting as a link between the world of business and civil society and European policy-makers. The Code commits EPACA member organizations to applying the highest professional standards.
The Code is a key starting point for building trust with EU institutions and ensuring that policy-makers engage in dialogue with the profession. EPACA has also been instrumental over recent years in representing public affairs consultancies with the wider European Transparency Initiative (ETI). Launched by the previous Commission, the ETI has resulted in the Commission’s Register of Interest Representatives.
EPACA is active in promoting the profession’s interests in this ETI debate in order to achieve a level playing field and ensure transparent relations with the EU institutions.
2) Administration of EPACA’s self-regulatory mechanism
The Code of Conduct is based on the principle of self-regulation. EPACA is the body that administers the mechanism for self-regulation through its Management Committee and Professional Practice Panel. In the event of a complaint from an external party against an EPACA member, the Management Committee may choose to appoint the PPP to investigate the case. The PPP will be careful to give each case due consideration and understanding. Being an EPACA member guarantees you a fair hearing in case of such a complaint.
3) Provision of wider membership services
Being an EPACA member also brings wider benefits. These include the opportunity to network with peers and EU institution officials at the annual General Assembly; to attend trainings and workshops on institutional matters for you and your employees; to receive regular updates on key developments in the ETI debate through a quarterly newsletter; to receive a regular media monitoring service on key issues to EPACA.