For the second year in a row, the GR FORCE Professional Forum (2018) gathers specialists in relations with public authorities and lobbyists. Its aim is experience exchange and discussing effective lobbying and GR cases. This year the event was attended by the representatives of the lobbying market from the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus.

Eduard Voytenko took part in the discussion «Development of the GR Community in Russia». In his speech, he raised the topic of lobbying regulation in Russia and said that it was necessary to formulate clear «rules of the game» for lobbyists and GR specialists. Correct state regulation (or industry self-regulation) will open the lobbying market and contribute to the growth of competitiveness among market players, which in turn will increase its transparency. Moreover, the financial capacity of the market will grow, due to, among others, international corporations, which, for example, will be able to allocate full GR-budgets for their offices in Russia which would include lobbying services. These foreign corporations and companies, in most cases, today can’t afford to allocate large amounts of financial resources for lobbying activityy, because it isn’t regulated. «Ultimately, this is significant tax revenue for the state treasury from lobbying companies that will increase their tax payments through the implementation of quality lobbying services. The government authorities will also benefit from the regulation of lobbyism: GR specialists and lobbyists will become centres of expertise in a number of the most sensitive industries, where the dialogue between government and business is broken», added Eduard Voytenko, CEO at Baikal Communications Group.

At the same time, the state and GR-community are still not ready for this state of affairs. Today, lobbyists are mainly governed by indirect federal laws. And there are still no ready-made solutions for «legalizing»  lobbyism. Previous attempts to regulate the industry are nothing more than a formal approach to business. «In the worst case, they offered only licensing and accreditation. And this absolutely doesn’t add anything to GR-industry, but at the same time creates beneficiaries», – concluded Eduard Voytenko.

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