The consultation regime in a democratic state should reflect the traditional democratic values - representation, transparency, inclusion and responsibility (Kohler-Koch and Quittkat 2013). Since consultation instruments are developed by the state for the public, it is then crucial to ensure they are available and accessible to a variety of stakeholders, interested public, organisations and experts. In other words, the process should be open and equal for all to ensure it is legitimate itself.
This process is happening through consultation instruments involving dialogue and exchange between policy-makers and those affected by the policy. To ensure dialogue with such ‘interest groups’ to be seen as legitimate, it should be transparent, provides equality of access to information, and to respond to government consultations.
For an example, European Commission (EC) is aimed at legitimising the European Union's policies by inclusion of civil society, which should be represented as broadly as possible in EC's consultations (e.g. through Transparency Register following so-called 'transparency for legitimacy’ pathway (Greenwood 2013 p.139). EC also supports the participation of individual citizens in the policy-making process through citizen’s conferences, deliberative polling and the online consultations (Boucher 2009; Fischer-Hotzel 2010; Olsen and Trenz 2013 cited in Kohler-Koch and Quittkat 2013 ).
Stakeholder legitimacy of public policy both output and input is then based on opportunities to participation. Only when stakeholders believe that their voices are heard and taken on board, and witness the policy-making p...
... middle of paper ...
...sitive effect on political systems, and the behavious of those within them. Greenwood and Thomas (1998) agree that lobby regulation will not likely restructure representation of interest groups, however it may under certain circumstances advance democratic values where the system is not developed enough.
Murphy and Chari findings (1996) demonstrate that the stronger the regulation is the more effective the lobbying system operates. However, they claim that legislative loopholes are unavoidable across all systems in all regulatory frameworks.
In conclusion, the crucial point is to have lobbying system as transparent as possible to benefit all lobbying actors. Thus, regulation instruments should give all stakeholders confidence in the system and in that context it must be kept simple initially and not overburden lobbyists in the first place with legislation.
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