Brussels, 10 January 2013 – EPACA’s Chairman, Karl Isaksson, participated a panel discussion entitled “Bringing Closed-Door Dealings to Light: How Transparency Can Change Lobbying Practices” about transparency practices in different parts of the world, held during the 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Brasilia in November 2012.

The event was moderated by Ambassador Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD and the other panellists were Karen Shepherd, Canadian Commissioner for Lobbying, Mr Han, responsible for lobbying regulations in South Korea, and Luiz Dos Santos, Deputy Chief of staff to the President of Brazil.

Whereas the other panellists focused their interventions on existing or planned lobbying regulations (you will be pleased to learn that South Korea contemplates making the lobbyist profession legal), Karl’s speech focused on what we actually do as lobbyists and why we play an important role in the democratic process.

As the only industry representative on the panel, Karl got most of the questions during the Q&A session, ranging from how we deal with conflicts of interest to why we do not demand that all EPACA members actually register.

The participation at the conference was a great opportunity to give an industry perspective to lobbying regulations and to underline to civil servants that lobbyists play a significant role in improving legislation in all policy areas. It also further strengthened EPACA’s relations with the OECD which work a great deal with advising their member countries on how to deal with transparency and lobbying registers and regulations.