EPACA has over the past decade been at the forefront in promoting the highest professional standards for the Brussels public affairs sector. Launching the EPACA Charter is the logical next step in consolidating this work. The Charter represents a ‘gold standard’ for public affairs, and aims at setting EPACA members apart from other public affairs agencies and at demonstrating to clients the benefit of working with EPACA consultancies.

The EPACA Charter

A gold-standard for EU-facing public affairs consultancies

The EPACA Charter sets a new gold standard for public affairs consultancies working with the European Union institutions and other relevant stakeholders in the area of EU policymaking. Accession to the EPACA Charter is predicated on full EPACA membership and respect of its Code of Conduct, and an undertaking to fulfil the following requirements and commitments:

Charter members apply the highest ethical standards in their dealings with all stakeholders

Charter members shall:

Be mandatorily signed up to the Transparency Register of the EP and EC (and include their registration numbers in their communication materials); Adhere to the EPACA code of ethics as well as the codes of the EP/ EC; Proactively abide by any code of ethics applied by their clients; In their dealings with stakeholders, identify themselves by name and by company and declare the interest represented; Refuse to work for clients or potential clients who do not meet ethical standards; Conduct regular training for their staff to instil our core principles and values and the workings and implications of the code(s) of conduct; Make available upon request, free of charge, training to clients on the workings and implications of the code(s) of conduct; Have in place codes of practice that regulate the trading of their clients’ shares/stock by staff members; Strictly apply the rules and confidentiality requirements to which former EU / EP personnel are subject to.

Charter members strive to be the leading service providers in the market by adhering to robust professional principles

Charter members shall:

Proactively raise and address any conflicts of interest, both at personal and corporate level; Be mindful of potential competition law infringements and proactively work to avoid them; Invest in the skills development of their staff by providing training on all aspects of the consulting role as well as the workings of the European institutions; Assure the highest levels of commercial confidentiality in the management of their portfolio of clients; Have in place mentoring programmes where senior staff provide guidance and support to junior staff to ensure the rapid and full implementation by all of the principles of the Charter; Commit to subject their staff to the EPACA code of ethics and professional Charter training and certification; Where feasible, contribute to the professionalism of the public affairs industry by teaching, publishing and undertaking other initiatives that promote the sector.

Charter members operate commercially-sound businesses that comply with stringent legal and corporate practices

Charter members shall:

Produce, upon request by EPACA, evidence that they meet all legally required social and employment requirements as well as audited financial statements for the preceding three financial years; Have appropriate levels of professional liability / indemnity insurance; Recognise, and accept, that EPACA or an external independent auditor may check published financial statements and compare these to transparency register filings to assure the accuracy of these filings; Provide fair financial compensation for their trainees; Fairly remunerate their staff according to the standards and regulations that are applicable; Provide clear and transparent budgets that define fees, costs and any other applicable charges.

By signing this Charter I agree to commit my consultancy and its employees to do their utmost to fully respect all of the articles and requirements contained herein.

See the Charter here