- Only set up in Brussels as a lobbying shop. K Street is only in DC for a reason. Belgium is not cheap.
- Use the following technology and services: Fiscalnote (or evernote if your budget is smaller), Vote Watch and EU Issue Tracker. Arttifial Intilligence will make your job better. Use it.
- Before you do anything use vote watch. They’ll tell you who your winning coalition is.
- Stay out of the office and meet people. Fiscalnote allows you to run a war room online.
- Your lobbyists are not bureaucrats so hire only good lobbyists with a real track record. They are hard to find.
- 80/20: spend your money on campaigns and winning votes and not on bricks and mortar staff.
- Use experts when needed but you don’t need them on staff. Or have them back in the HQ.
- Location, location, location – it really counts. The Norwegians know it, the are next door to the Commission HQ.
- Know the rules, keep up with the changes, and understand how they really work. Very few lobbyists do.
- Stop wasting your time preaching to the converted win over the switchers
- Your job is to win majorities so don’t waste your time appeasing your allies. If you spend your time saying what your organisation says to itself, you are likely to loose.
- Know the rules of procedure for the various legislative procedures. It is shocking that only a few people seem to.
- Only a few people really make the key decisions, so now they are, and who advise them. Adapt your language and message to what will appeal to them. Again, it is amazingly effective.
- Work with the press, be seen as the first port of call for comment, analysis, and background. Answer their calls. Try using plain English.
- Avoid internal meetings like the plague. We live in a world where a good laptop, data connection, can have you and your team as remote nomads. Your job is to meet and win votes and not take minutes in internal meetings.
- Data doesn’t lie so use it. Just because someone says they can back you, doesn’t mean they’re going to. If you look at how they voted on the same or similar issue in the past, all too often the truth will be revealed.
- Keep the mother ship fully informed 24/7. They are paying the bills, so send them plans, regular reports, and answer their calls whenever they call.
- Focus on a few key things and don’t try and be the master of everything. No-one is going to believe you’re the best at everything.
- Make sure that your lobbyists are experts in a few fields. Have point people to work with the Parliament, Council, Perm Reps and the Commission. Make sure your lobbyists are team players, versatile when needed, and most of all like people. A good lobbyist must work across political and national lines. It helps if they have served their time inside one of the institutions, but avoid political placement, or a stagaire, who in my experience mainly specialised in advanced privileged partying.
- Make sure the lines of communication and accountability in your organisation do not cross and are clear. If your office spends most of its time competing with the mothership or affiliates about who does what, something is seriously wrong.
- Your a lobbying shop for your organisation. Your job is to clearly communicate with politicians and civil servants. The ability to speak, listen and write clearly is vital. I place the ability to “listen” at the top. A politician and civil servant will tell you everything you want if you really listen.
Use Data and not hunches
In Ray Dallio’s “Principles” he talks about the use of data and computers to enhance good decisions. It is something that I think political campaigners and lobbyists should try.
He is the founder of the investment management firm Bridgewater.
His investment funds has done well. It has made him, his employees and clients wealthy, very wealthy.
He is in the process of writing down his principles. He has kindly written out his “model” for making decisions.
Dallio is direct. Some people think he is too direct. He embraces an ideal of radical honesty and transparency. I can see how some people find these principles tough. I am fortunate. I like it. I had a Danish boss when I was young. You like it or leave.
Can you use a billionaire’s principles for lobbying and political campaigning?
I have listed some of the ideas that I find directly relevant for political campaigning and lobbying.
The whole basic of hyperrealism seems core but is too often absent in political campaigning and lobbying. Hope is a great slogan, but it is not a political strategy.
Looking beyond the first order consequences and considering the second and third order impacts needs to be sidelined. All too often, I have learned in more than 25 years of political campaigning and lobbying, if you ask for everything, you lose everything. Politics is the art of the compromise and if you don’t, you risk loosing everything.
The whole use of AI, computers and data, is perhaps the most undeveloped area in lobbying. In political campaigning, it is more evolved, had a huge impact in the UK’s Brexit campaign. “The Victory Lab” explores this.
Over time, I’ll look at his principles in terms of political campaigning and lobbying, and write up.
1.1 Be a hyperrealist.
a. Dreams + Reality + Determination = A Successful Life.
—is the essential foundation for any good outcome.
a. Radical open-mindedness and radical transparency are
invaluable for rapid learning and effective change.
b. Don’t let fears of what others think of you stand in your way.
c. Embracing radical truth and radical transparency will bring
more meaningful work and more meaningful relationships.
a. Don’t get hung up on your views of how things “should” be
because you will miss out on learning how they really are.
b. To be “good” something must operate consistently with the
laws of reality and contribute to evolution of the whole; that
is what is most rewarded.
c. Evolution is the single greatest force in the universe; it is the
only thing that is permanent and it drives everything.
d. Evolve or die.
a. The individual’s incentives must be aligned with the group’s
b. Reality is optimizing for the whole—not for you.
c. Adaptation through rapid trial and error is invaluable.
d. Realize that you are simultaneously everything and nothing
—and decide what you want to be.
e. What you will be will depend on the perspective you have.
a. Maximize your evolution.
b. Remember “no pain, no gain.”
c. It is a fundamental law of nature that in order to gain
strength one has to push one’s limits, which is painful.
a. Go to the pain rather than avoid it.
b. Embrace tough love.
a. Think of yourself as a machine operating within a machine
and know that you have the ability to alter your machines to
produce better outcomes.
b. By comparing your outcomes with your goals, you can
determine how to modify your machine.
c. Distinguish between you as the designer of your machine
and you as a worker with your machine.
d. The biggest mistake most people make is to not see
themselves and others objectively, which leads them to
bump into their own and others’ weaknesses again and again.
e. Successful people are those who can go above themselves to see
things objectively and manage those things to shape change.
f. Asking others who are strong in areas where you are weak to help
you is a great skill that you should develop no matter what, as it will
help you develop guardrails that will prevent you from doing what
you shouldn’t be doing.
g. Because it is difficult to see oneself objectively, you need to
rely on the input of others and the whole body of evidence.
h. If you are open-minded enough and determined, you can
get virtually anything you want.
a. Prioritize: While you can have virtually anything you want,
you can’t have everything you want.
b. Don’t confuse goals with desires.
c. Decide what you really want in life by reconciling your
goals and your desires.
d. Don’t mistake the trappings of success for success itself.
e. Never rule out a goal because you think it’s unattainable.
f. Remember that great expectations create great capabilities.
g. Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have
a) flexibility and b) self-accountability.
h. Knowing how to deal well with your setbacks is as important
as knowing how to move forward.
a. View painful problems as potential improvements that are
screaming at you.
b. Don’t avoid confronting problems because they are rooted in
harsh realities that are unpleasant to look at.
c. Be specific in identifying your problems.
d. Don’t mistake a cause of a problem with the real problem.
e. Distinguish big problems from small ones.
f. Once you identify a problem, don’t tolerate it.
a. Focus on the “what is” before deciding “what to do about it.”
b. Distinguish proximate causes from root causes.
c. Recognize that knowing what someone (including you) is
like will tell you what you can expect from them.
a. Go back before you go forward.
b. Think about your problem as a set of outcomes produced
by a machine.
c. Remember that there are typically many paths to achieving
d. Think of your plan as being like a movie script in that you
visualize who will do what through time.
e. Write down your plan for everyone to see and to measure
your progress against.
f. Recognize that it doesn’t take a lot of time to design a
a. Great planners who don’t execute their plans go nowhere.
b. Good work habits are vastly underrated.
c. Establish clear metrics to make certain that you are
following your plan.
2.6 Remember that weaknesses don’t matter if you find solutions.
a. Look at the patterns of your mistakes and identify at which
step in the 5-Step Process you typically fail.
b. Everyone has at least one big thing that stands in the way
of their success; find yours and deal with it.
2.7 Understand your own and others’ mental maps and humility.
3 Be Radically Open-Minded
3.1 Recognize your two barriers.
a. Understand your ego barrier.
b. Your two “yous” fight to control you.
c. Understand your blind spot barrier.
3.2 Practice radical open-mindedness.
a. Sincerely believe that you might not know the best possible
path and recognize that your ability to deal well with “not
knowing” is more important than whatever it is you do know.
b. Recognize that decision making is a two-step process:
First take in all the relevant information, then decide.
c. Don’t worry about looking good; worry about achieving
d. Realize that you can’t put out without taking in.
e. Recognize that to gain the perspective that comes from
seeing things through another’s eyes, you must suspend
judgment for a time—only by empathizing can you properly
evaluate another point of view.
f. Remember that you’re looking for the best answer, not
simply the best answer that you can come up with yourself.
g. Be clear on whether you are arguing or seeking to understand,
and think about which is most appropriate based on your and
3.3 Appreciate the art of thoughtful disagreement.
3.4 Triangulate your view with believable people who are willing
a. Plan for the worst-case scenario to make it as good as
3.5 Recognize the signs of closed-mindedness and open-mindedness that you should watch out for.
3.6 Understand how you can become radically open-minded.
a. Regularly use pain as your guide toward quality reflection.
b. Make being open-minded a habit.
c. Get to know your blind spots.
d. If a number of different believable people say you are doing
something wrong and you are the only one who doesn’t see
it that way, assume that you are probably biased.
f. Be evidence-based and encourage others to be the same.
g. Do everything in your power to help others also be open-minded.
h. Use evidence-based decision-making tools.
i. Know when it’s best to stop fighting and have faith in your decision-making process.
4 Understand That People Are Wired Very Differently
4.1 Understand the power that comes from knowing how you and others are wired.
a. We are born with attributes that can both help us and hurt
us, depending on their application.
4.2 Meaningful work and meaningful relationships aren’t just nice things we chose for ourselves—they are genetically programmed into us.
4.3 Understand the great brain battles and how to control them to get what “you” want.
a. Realize that the conscious mind is in a battle with the subconscious mind.
b. Know that the most constant struggle is between feeling and thinking.
c. Reconcile your feelings and your thinking.
d. Choose your habits well.
e. Train your “lower-level you” with kindness and persistence to build the right habits.
f. Understand the differences between right-brained and left-brained thinking.
g. Understand how much the brain can and cannot change.
4.4 Find out what you and others are like.
a. Introversion vs. extroversion.
b. Intuiting vs. sensing.
c. Thinking vs. feeling.
d. Planning vs. perceiving.
e. Creators vs. refiners vs. advancers vs. executors vs. flexors.
f. Focusing on tasks vs. focusing on goals.
g. WPI characteristics.
h. Shapers are people who can go from visualization to actualization.
4.5 Getting the right people in the right roles in support of your goal is the key to succeeding at whatever you choose to accomplish.
a. Manage yourself and orchestrate others to get what you want.
5 Learn How to Make Decisions Effectively
5.1 Recognize that 1) the biggest threat to good decision making is harmful emotions, and 2) decision making is a two-step process (first learning and then deciding).
5.2 Synthesize the situation at hand.
a. One of the most important decisions you can make is who you ask questions of.
b. Don’t believe everything you hear.
c. Everything looks bigger up close.
d. New is overvalued relative to great.
e. Don’t oversqueeze dots.
5.3 Synthesize the situation through time.
a. Keep in mind both the rates of change and the levels of
things, and the relationships between them.
b. Be imprecise.
c. Remember the 80/20 Rule and know what the key 20 percent is.
d. Be an imperfectionist.
5.4 Navigate levels effectively.
a. Use the terms “above the line” and “below the line” to establish which level a conversation is on.
b. Remember that decisions need to be made at the appropriate level, but they should also be consistent across levels.
5.5 Logic, reason, and common sense are your best tools for synthesizing reality and understanding what to do about it.
5.6 Make your decisions as expected value calculations.
a. Raising the probability of being right is valuable no matter what your probability of being right already is.
b. Knowing when not to bet is as important as knowing what bets are probably worth making.
c. The best choices are the ones that have more pros than cons, not those that don’t have any cons at all.
5.7 Prioritize by weighing the value of additional information against the cost of not deciding.
a. All of your “must-dos” must be above the bar before you do your “like-to-dos.”
b. Chances are you won’t have time to deal with the unimportant things, which is better than not having time to deal with the important things.
c. Don’t mistake possibilities for probabilities.
5.9 Use principles.
5.10 Believability weight your decision-making.
5.11 Convert your principles into algorithms and have the computer make decisions alongside you.
5.12 Be cautious about trusting AI without having deep understanding.
At around 12:30 this afternoon the European Parliament rejected the Commission’s proposal on Endocrine Criteria for Pesticides.
- For: 389
- Against: 235
- Abstain: 70
The final text adopted is here.
You can watch the final vote below.
How they Voted
By Political Group
By Member States
ALDE: Arthuis, Auštrevičius, van Baalen, Bearder, Becerra Basterrechea, Bilbao Barandica, Calvet Chambon, Cavada, Cornillet, Deprez, Federley, Gerbrandy, Griesbeck, Harkin, Huitema, in ‘t Veld, Jäätteenmäki, Jakovčić, Ježek, Kallas, Løkkegaard, Marinho e Pinto, Michel, van Miltenburg, Mlinar, Nart, van Nieuwenhuizen, Paet, Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Petersen, Punset, Radoš, Ries, Riquet, Rochefort, Rohde, Schaake, Selimovic, Toom, Torvalds, Tremosa i Balcells, Vajgl, Vautmans, Verhofstadt, Weber Renate, Wierinck, Wikström
ECR: Belder, van Dalen, Demesmaeker, Dohrmann, Karlsson, Marias, Messerschmidt, Ruohonen-Lerner, Škripek, Stevens, Theocharous, Van Bossuyt, Vistisen, Zīle, Žitňanská
EFDD: Adinolfi, Agea, Aiuto, Beghin, Bergeron, Borrelli, Castaldo, Corrao, D’Amato, D’Ornano, Evi, Ferrara, Iwaszkiewicz, Moi, Montel, Paksas, Pedicini, Philippot, Tamburrano, Valli, Zullo
ENF: Annemans, Arnautu, Bay, Bilde, Boutonnet, Briois, Elissen, Ferrand, Goddyn, de Graaff, Jalkh, Jamet, Kappel, Lebreton, Lechevalier, Loiseau, Martin Dominique, Marusik, Mayer Georg, Mélin, Monot, Obermayr, Pretzell, Rebega, Schaffhauser, Stuger, Troszczynski, Vilimsky, Zijlstra
GUE/NGL: Albiol Guzmán, Anderson Martina, Benito Ziluaga, Björk, Carthy, Chountis, Couso Permuy, Eck, Ernst, Flanagan, Forenza, González Peñas, Hadjigeorgiou, Hazekamp, de Jong, Juaristi Abaunz, Kari, Kohlíček, Konečná, Kouloglou, Kuneva, Kyllönen, Le Hyaric, López Bermejo, Lösing, Maltese, Maštálka, Matias, Michels, Mineur, Ní Riada, Omarjee, Papadimoulis, Pimenta Lopes, Sakorafa, Sánchez Caldentey, Scholz, Senra Rodríguez, Spinelli, Sylikiotis, Torres Martínez, Urbán Crespo, Vallina, Vergiat, Viegas, Vieu
NI: Balczó, Chauprade, Epitideios, Fountoulis, Gollnisch, James, Korwin-Mikke, Morvai, Papadakis Konstantinos, Synadinos, Voigt, Zarianopoulos
PPE: Andrikienė, Arimont, Bach, Bendtsen, Casa, Faria, Metsola, Peterle, Pietikäinen, Reding, Rolin, Tolić, Zammit Dimech
S&D: Anderson Lucy, Andrieu, Androulakis, Arena, Assis, Balas, Bayet, Benifei, Beňová, Berès, Bettini, Blanco López, Bonafè, Borzan, Boştinaru, Brannen, Briano, Bullmann, Cabezón Ruiz, Caputo, Childers, Chinnici, Christensen, Cofferati, Corbett, Costa, Dalli, Dance, Danti, Delvaux, Denanot, Drăghici, Ertug, Fajon, Fernández, Fleckenstein, Freund, Gardiazabal Rubial, Gasbarra, Gebhardt, Geier, Geringer de Oedenberg, Gill Neena, Giuffrida, Gomes, Grammatikakis, Graswander-Hainz, Griffin, Gualtieri, Guerrero Salom, Guillaume, Guteland, Gutiérrez Prieto, Hedh, Hoffmann, Honeyball, Howarth, Ivan, Jaakonsaari, Jáuregui Atondo, Jongerius, Kadenbach, Kaili, Kammerevert, Kaufmann, Keller Jan, Khan, Kirton-Darling, Kofod, Kohn, Köster, Krehl, Kumpula-Natri, Kyenge, Kyrkos, Lange, Leinen, Lietz, López, López Aguilar, Ludvigsson, McAvan, Mamikins, Maňka, Manscour, Martin David, Martin Edouard, Maurel, Mavrides, Mayer Alex, Melior, Mizzi, Moisă, Molnár, Moraes, Nekov, Neuser, Niedermüller, Nilsson, Noichl, Panzeri, Paolucci, Papadakis Demetris, Pargneaux, Peillon, Picierno, Picula, Piri, Pirinski, Pittella, Poc, Poche, Post, Preuß, Regner, Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Rodrigues Liliana, Rodrigues Maria João, Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Rodust, Rozière, Sant, dos Santos, Sârbu, Sassoli, Schaldemose, Schlein, Schuster, Sehnalová, Serrão Santos, Silva Pereira, Simon Peter, Simon Siôn, Sippel, Smolková, Soru, Stihler, Tang, Țapardel, Tarabella, Thomas, Toia, Ujhelyi, Ulvskog, Valenciano, Van Brempt, Vaughan, Viotti, Ward, Weidenholzer, von Weizsäcker, Werner, Westphal, Wölken, Zala, Zanonato, Zoffoli, Zorrinho
Verts/ALE: Affronte, Albrecht, Andersson, Auken, Bové, Buchner, Bütikofer, Cramer, Dalunde, Delli, Durand, Eickhout, Engström, Evans, Giegold, Harms, Häusling, Hautala, Heubuch, Hudghton, Jadot, Joly, Keller Ska, Lambert, Lamberts, Lochbihler, Lunacek, Marcellesi, Meszerics, Reda, Reimon, Reintke, Rivasi, Sargentini, Scott Cato, Škrlec, Smith, Solé, Šoltes, Staes, Tarand, Taylor, Trüpel, Turmes, Urtasun, Valero, Vana, Ždanoka
ALDE: Ali, Diaconu, Giménez Barbat, Grigule-Pēterse, Hyusmenova, Kyuchyuk, Lambsdorff, Mazuronis, Meissner, Mihaylova, Müller, Nicolai, Takkula, Väyrynen
ECR: Ashworth, Barekov, Dalton, Dzhambazki, Fitto, Flack, Fox, Gericke, Halla-aho, Hannan, Henkel, Kölmel, Lucke, McClarkin, Macovei, Matthews, Nicholson, Procter, Sernagiotto, Starbatty, Sulík, Swinburne, Tannock, Tošenovský, Trebesius, Ujazdowski, Zahradil
ENF: Bizzotto, Borghezio, Fontana, Salvini
NI: Dodds, Woolfe
PPE: Adaktusson, Ademov, Alliot-Marie, Ayuso, Balz, Belet, Bocskor, Böge, Bogovič, Boni, Brok, Buda, Buşoi, Buzek, van de Camp, Caspary, del Castillo Vera, Cesa, Cicu, Cirio, Clune, Collin-Langen, Corazza Bildt, Csáky, Danjean, Dantin, Dati, Delahaye, Deli, Deß, Deutsch, Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Dorfmann, Ehler, Engel, Erdős, Estaràs Ferragut, Fisas Ayxelà, Fjellner, Florenz, Gahler, Gál, Gambús, Gardini, Gieseke, González Pons, de Grandes Pascual, Gräßle, Grossetête, Gyürk, Hayes, Herranz García, Hetman, Hökmark, Hölvényi, Hortefeux, Hübner, Iturgaiz, Jahr, Jazłowiecka, Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Joulaud, Juvin, Kalinowski, Kalniete, Kariņš, Kelam, Kelly, Koch, Kósa, Kovatchev, Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Kudrycka, Kuhn, Kukan, Lamassoure, de Lange, Langen, Lavrilleux, Lenaers, Lewandowski, Liese, Lins, Lope Fontagné, López-Istúriz White, Łukacijewska, McAllister, McGuinness, Maletić, Malinov, Mann, Marinescu, Martusciello, Matera, Mato, Maullu, Mikolášik, Millán Mon, Morano, Morin-Chartier, Mureşan, Muselier, Mussolini, Nagy, Niebler, Niedermayer, Novakov, Olbrycht, Pabriks, Patriciello, Petir, Pieper, Pitera, Plura, Polčák, Ponga, Pospíšil, Preda, Proust, Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Radtke, Ribeiro, Rosati, Saïfi, Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Salini, Sander, Sarvamaa, Saudargas, Schöpflin, Schreijer-Pierik, Schulze, Schwab, Siekierski, Sógor, Šojdrová, Sommer, Štefanec, Štětina, Stolojan, Šuica, Šulin, Svoboda, Szájer, Szejnfeld, Thun und Hohenstein, Tőkés, Ţurcanu, Urutchev, Vaidere, Valcárcel Siso, Vălean, Vandenkendelaere, Verheyen, Virkkunen, Voss, Wałęsa, Weber Manfred, Wenta, Wieland, Winkler Hermann, Winkler Iuliu, Záborská, Zdechovský, Zdrojewski, Zeller, Zovko, Zver, Zwiefka
S&D: Balčytis, Blinkevičiūtė, Cristea, Dăncilă, Frunzulică, García Pérez, Gierek, Grapini, Kouroumbashev, Lauristin, Liberadzki, Łybacka, Nica, Paşcu, Pavel, Popa, Stanishev, Zemke
ALDE: Charanzová, Dlabajová, Goerens, Telička, Uspaskich
ECR: Czarnecki, Czesak, Fotyga, Gosiewska, Hoc, Jurek, Karski, Kłosowski, Krasnodębski, Krupa, Kuźmiuk, Legutko, Ożóg, Piecha, Piotrowski, Tomaševski, Tomašić, Wiśniewska, Złotowski
EFDD: Aker, Arnott, Batten, Bullock, Carver, Coburn, (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Etheridge, Finch, Gill Nathan, Hookem, Lundgren, O’Flynn, Parker, Payne, Reid, Winberg
ENF: Atkinson, Zanni
PPE: Becker, Cadec, Christoforou, Fernandes, Karas, Kefalogiannis, Kyrtsos, Melo, Radev, Rübig, Schmidt, Spyraki, Ungureanu, Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Zagorakis
S&D: Aguilera García, Ayala Sender, Bresso, Cozzolino, De Castro, De Monte, Gentile, Morgano, Mosca, Szanyi
Interestingly the percentage split for and against is similar to the same vote in Environment Committee on 28 September.