New recommendations for good lobbying practice promote a responsible lobbying culture in Finland – Finance Finland is committed to the ethical guidelines

Finance Finland has published an annual report of its lobbying activities since 2020, disclosing the names of the political decision-makers – members of the Finnish Parliament, ministers and ministerial staff, members of the EU Parliament and Commission officials – lobbied in key themes. Pictured are some of them.
  • The Advisory Board of the Finnish Transparency Register published recommendations for good lobbying practice on 25 June 2024.
  • The recommendations are the first of their kind and encourage all lobbyists to adhere to common ethical practices.
  • Finance Finland was among the first organisations to commit to the recommendations.

“Finance Finland has long supported greater transparency in all lobbying that seeks to influence the preparation of legislation and the use of budgetary powers. We have published an annual report of our lobbying activities since 2020, disclosing the political decision-makers and topics we have lobbied in Finland and in Brussels”, says Finance Finland’s Director of Public Affairs Tuomo Yli-Huttula.

Although lobbying is already on a sound ethical basis in Finland, Yli-Huttula is confident that the new recommendations will support the development of an even more transparent culture of lobbying.

“Lobbying is an essential part of democracy. A wise decision-maker listens to multiple interest and expert groups before making a decision. Dialogue is a valuable source of information and helps form a more in-depth picture of the significance and impacts of decisions. As lobbyists, we must do all we can to ensure that our activities are responsible and transparent”, he underlines.

“The recommendations encourage lobbyists to openly disclose what they are lobbying for. Lobbyists are asked to disclose the concrete objectives of their lobbying activities, the key contents of their messages directed to decision-makers, and the material that they use in their lobbying activities. They should also inform the lobbying targets if they have any dual roles as decision-makers or elected officials whenever this has a material impact on the assessment of their lobbying activities”, explains Yli-Huttula, who is also Chair of the Advisory Board.

The recommendations for good lobbying practice can also be used to promote the objectives set out in the Finnish Transparency Register Act. While good lobbying practice is not binding, the actors submitting their registration to the Finnish Transparency Register may declare their commitment to comply with the recommendations. Launched in early 2024, the register already includes more than 900 registrants.

Appointed by the National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF), the Advisory Board heard a broad range of different actors when preparing the recommendations promoting good lobbying practice. The Advisory Board is also tasked to work on proposals to improve the register and to regularly review and update the recommendations for good lobbying practice.

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