Better Regulation & Ordinary Legislation in one easy chart

I wanted to put down in one easy chart how the Commission adopts ordinary legislation. This is the chart I came up with.

The advantage of the Better Regulation rules is that the process for adopting a legislative proposal is quite straightforward.

First, you have to go through the Better Regulation guidelines and toolbox.  If you don’t want to go through that, I have added a process chart.

Second, you need know who is involved in the Inter-service Steering Group and the Inter-Service Consultation at the Services and Cabinet level. You are going to need to know max around 50 people. That’s a lot less than 200 +  people you need to know when it goes to the ordinary legislation stage

Third, around a year after the political validation for the work to start, and the first road map/inception impact assessment, you are likely to see a legislative proposal being adopted.

Fourth, to be honest, the smoke signals that regulation in your area is likely to be seen many months and years before political validation. The only excuse for not seeing the signs is long term hospitalisation or political hibernation. After 25 years I  have not yet encountered a piece of legislative action that “came out of the blue”. As soon as the smoke signals are seen, and hopefully before, your work developing your case and story will start.

Finally, that gives you a few months to get your facts and story in a line to persuade 50 people that your solutions are the best and get them to back your side of the story.

The Progressive lobbying manual for today

Lobbying for Change: Find your voice to create a better society:  Alberto Alemanno

Professor Alemanno is an academic, lobbyist and lawyer. He has also written one of the best books on lobbying I have come across.

Every lobbyist who is serious about their craft should read it.

I picked it up today in the airport and finished it this evening.

For many years I worked for as a lobbyist for Progressive causes. This is the play book I wished had been written. I now work, most of the time, on the other side.

I consider that after the philanthropic community read this book they will require NGOs to follow the steps, activities and tips (see below).

This is an excellent manual or checklist of best practice on lobbying for progressives. After your read this book, read Chris Rose’s book on how to win campaigns.

This book is well written and absent from jargon.

What is clear that if you are serious about lobbying nothing can be left to chance. Perhaps because Professor Alemanno is a lawyer, the constant theme of written plans (updated) comes across.

This is a guidebook for any serious group of progressives. It is clear that technology has changed the rules of the game. It has made it easier for concerned citizens to activate a campaign. he means have been given, at low or no cost, for that campaign to be more effective and hit the right target audiences.


Part III “The Toolbox” should be re-titled “The Goldmine”.


10 Steps


Step 1: Pick your battle

Step 2: Do your homework

Step 3: Map your lobbying environment. Namely: 1. the lobbying target; b. your potential allies; 3. your opponents.

Step 4: Draw up a lobbying plan

Step 5: Pick your allies

Step 6: Raise money

Step 7: Plan your communication

Step 8: Face to face meetings

Step 9: Monitor progress and delivery

Step 10: Stick to the lobbying rules


He then goes on to explain how to do this in practice. What is being recommended is not easy. It is a lot of work.  But, he provides case studies where he or others have run and won citizen based lobbying campaigns.

Someone has taken the time to breakdown a model that works and shared it with the world for the cost of the book.

10 Actions

He lists clear activities for each step and then goes on to give useful tips.

Activity 1: Chart the issue and its solutions.  This looks look: 1. Problem definition: what the issue is, 2. Public consultation: what people think about the issue, 4. Design of the policy options: how to solve the issue, 4. Adoption: making a decision to adopt the solution, 5. Policy implementation: the implementation of the solution, 6. Policy adjudication somebody may challenge the solution(s) before the Courts, 7. Policy evaluation: how well the solution worked.

Activity 2: Map your issue

Activity 3: Prepare a background document

Activity 4: Look for pro-bono support

Activity 5: Identify lobbying target(s)

Activity 6: Draw a power map

Activity 7: Look for pro-bono help

Activity 8: Draw up a communication plan

Activity 9: Write your story

Activity 10: Blogging


22 Tips

  1. Pitch your issue
  2. Work as a network and be agile: He recommends Skype, Slack and Google Hangout
  3. Use pro-bono
  4. Gibe your issue a human face
  5. Be data driven, even without data
  6. Precedents matters
  7. Appearance matters – make the fact sheet slick
  8. Stakeholder profiling – do it
  9. Make a positional map with movable text boxes
  10. Submit your observations – take part in public consultations
  11. Draft your amendment
  12. File an amicus curiae brief
  13. When to launch an on line petition
  14. Coalition members’ inventory
  15. Don’t be afraid to ask for money
  16. Branding for the coalition
  17. How readable is your press release
  18. Mock interview
  19. DIY Digital Campaign
  20. Set up your blog
  21. Practice your empathy
  22. Prep your elevator pitch


I now have an easy test to know if a lobbyist is serious about their craft. I just look to see if this book is on their book shelf.

My review to does not do justice. There are too many gems in this book. Just go and buy and read it.


Before you start lobbying, here are 70 questions to answer

I just re-read some excellent political campaign advice from Chris Rose. His advice is well worth listening to. He’s the man behind Greenpeace’s Brent Spar win.

3 Stories

Chris recommends having 3 stories for your campaign

1. “The Popular story – understandable (test it out) by your relatives, neighbours etc.. The default story to use if in any doubt, and the only one to use with ‘the public’. No jargon.
2. The Professional story – the way the policy community see it. Jargon usually required here. This is the default internal campaign language but must not be allowed into the general public or media domain except maybe with trade/ professional press or policy community blogs etc.
3. The Political story – what’s in it for me as a politician (or CEO etc). This is not to be confused with the Professional story. Top decision makers are not interested in your campaign goals (that only annoys them), they are interested in the benefits to them and their organisation in terms of profits, career prospects, gaining advantage, being popular, not losing their job, and so on. These are your ‘benefit’ selling points. See also Bryceson’s Political Checklist.”

My campaign checklist

My checklist evolves over time. The older I get, and more campaigns I loose and win, I deliberately try and learn lessons from success and failure. I refine the process each time.

What I know that a lot of political campaign success is down to hard work by preparation. Getting the simple things right like contact lists of the key people or knowing the process you are involved in, is vital. Too many people forget it.

The more questions below you can not answer yes to, I think the less chance you have of winning. The questions have a common question “Do you know” and all you need to do is give the answer yes or no. The more positive answers the more you have a good chance to win.

If you were going to start a legislative campaign, here is a checklist


What are you dealing with
1. Do you know what legislative process are you dealing with? yes [ ] no[ ]

Tick which is applicable

Delegated Act
Implementing Act

2. Do you know where the proposal is in the procedure? yes [ ] no[ ]

3. Did the proposal secure a positive or negative opinion from the RSB? yes [ ] no[ ]
4. Do you know how the proposal went through ISC yes [ ] no[ ]
5. Do you know many Member States intervened in the ISC yes [ ] no[ ]
6. Did you get Member States to intervene yes [ ] no[ ]
7. Did you provide information to the public consultation to the Road Map yes [ ] no[ ]
8. Did you feed into the Impact Assessment yes [ ] no[ ]

9. Do you know where are you in the process yes [ ] no[ ]
Tick where the initiative is:

10. Do you know what your campaign budget is yes [ ] no[ ]
11. Do you know who signs off on the campaign plan yes [ ] no[ ]
12. Do you know signs off on the campaign budget yes [ ] no[ ]
13. Do you know who is in campaign team yes [ ] no[ ]
14. Do you know who decides on policy yes [ ] no[ ]
15. Do you know who decides on the key decisions yes [ ] no[ ]
16.Do you have SMART objectives yes [ ] no[ ]


Background Research
17. Do you know where do the key votes stand today on your issue(s) yes [ ] no[ ]
18. Have previous votes backed you yes [ ] no[ ]
19. Do you know which politicians (MEPs/Ministers) back you yes [ ] no[ ]
20. Do you know which politicians are against you yes [ ] no[ ]
21. Do you know which politicians can be swayed yes [ ] no[ ]
22. Do you know what the vote would be if it were held today yes [ ] no[ ]

23. Do you have a persuasive  position paper yes [ ] no[ ]
24. Do you have persuasive communication material to back your case yes [ ] no[ ]
25. Do you have amendments and explanations for your issue yes [ ] no[ ]
26. Have your tested your positions on key decision makers yes [ ] no[ ]

27. Do you have a working relationship with them yes [ ] no[ ]
28. Do you have their phone and email yes [ ] no[ ]
29. Do you have a local link with the politicians yes [ ] no[ ]

30. Do you know the Commission’s negotiation team  yes [ ] no[ ]
31. Do you know the Commission’s ISC leads at Service level  yes [ ] no[ ]
32. Do you know the Commission ISC Cabinet leads yes [ ] no[ ]
33. Do you know the Commissioners dealing with your issue yes [ ] no[ ]

34. Do you know the Rapporteurs yes [ ] no[ ]
35. Do you know the Shadow Rapporteurs yes [ ] no[ ]
36. Do you know the MEPs Advisers yes [ ] no[ ]
37. Do you know the Group Advisers yes [ ] no[ ]

Council/ Member States
38. Do you know the Chair of the Working Party yes [ ] no[ ]
39. Do you know the Working Party officials yes [ ] no[ ]
40. Do you know the lead Perm Rep leads yes [ ] no[ ]
41. Do you know the officials leading on the file back home yes [ ] no[ ]
42. Do you know the Minister leading on the file yes [ ] no[ ]
43. Do you know the Adviser to the Minister yes [ ] no[ ]
44. Do you know key decision makers in the Ministry yes [ ] no[ ]

Opinion Influencers
45. Do you know the key journalists on the issue in Brussels  yes [ ] no[ ]
46. Do you know the key think tank experts on the issue in Brussels yes [ ] no[ ]
47. Do you know the key journalists in your key countries on the issue yes [ ] no[ ]
48. Do you know the key think tank experts in your key countries on the issue yes [ ] no[ ]

49. Do you understand the process you are dealing with  yes [ ] no[ ]
50. Have you worked on the process before yes [ ] no[ ]
51. If not, can someone assist you yes [ ] no[ ]
52. Do you have an accurate copy of the process chart yes [ ] no[ ]
53. Do you know the triggers to move between the steps yes [ ] no[ ]

Think like a lawyer – you are looking to influence law making
54. Do you know the case your opponents are using against you  yes [ ] no[ ]
55. Do you have your response prepared yes [ ] no[ ]
56. Does you have a response that speaks to politicians yes [ ] no[ ]
57. Does your response speak to civil servants yes [ ] no[ ]
58. Do you have a response that speak to the public  yes [ ] no[ ]
59. Do you have indpendent evidence to support you  yes [ ] no[ ]
60. Do you have a legal opinion to support your case yes [ ] no[ ]
61. Did you particpate in all the preparation phases yes [ ] no[ ]
62. Did you suppy the answers yes [ ] no[ ]
63. Did you supply the points your now rely on yes [ ] no[ ]
64. Do you have a scientific /technical case that concerns the other side yes [ ] no[ ]

Public Communication

65. Does you have a response that speaks to politicians yes [ ] no[ ]
66. Does your response speak to civil servants yes [ ] no[ ]
67. Do you have a response that speak to the public  yes [ ] no[ ]
68. Does your story speak to settler, prospectors, and pioneers yes [ ] no[ ]
69. Do you have communication material available  yes [ ] no[ ]
70. Do you have someone to run the publication communication work  yes [ ] no[ ]


It is long post and list. The more  questions you can answer immediately, the less work you will have in the future, and the more chance you will win.

Systemised Knowledge Works


Digital ad spending is $16 billion a year and growing in the USA.  It is bigger than traditional advertising.

There is a simple reason why they have grown so much so fast. Their marketing sells more products than traditional advertising. Digital marketing is a lot more advanced. These are the people who send you advertisements as you browse the web and facebook.

Learn from others

I came across this ad on how a company founder operated his digital marketing firm – here.

I could do the course because:

  • I wanted a middle-aged career switch,
  • better understand this part of business a DIY MBA, or
  • Understand how to systematise knowledge

For me, it was option 3. A late friend had been explaining how digital marketing operated. He passed away before he could explain the mechanics to me. I was struck how thorough and analytical this digital marketing industry was. As a lobbyist I was struck by what lobbying and Public Affairs could learn from them.

Systemized Knowledge

One of the reasons digital marketing is so effective is that the companies have systemized their knowledge systems. Nothing is left to chance. They have written down each and every step. They identified the best practice and wrote out the steps to be taken.

I bought this course to see how someone has systemized the knowledge of how his company works in this industry works. If this company owner can do it, why can’t anyone else do it.

Here is a checklist for one part of my work. I am going to write-up a lot more checklists.

What is interesting about the course is how people in the company have gone through and explained every steps and process of their work and how it adds up to a better product and service. The presentations are all in plain and clean English.  I have heard that  knowledge workers think it can’t be done “for their work”. They are just wrong.

I want to better understand how this systematization was done, what their checklists look like, and the advantages or not it brings to work. A few hours looking at the mechanics is interesting.

Nothing left to accident

Every step is planned out in advance. It is planned out on paper (electronically at least). It uses:

  • Written execution Plans
  • Written checklists
  • Video, transcript,  and audio explanations
  • Templates and examples
  • Excel tables of who is doing what and when and what it is going to look like and examples

The production of a marketing campaign or new web site is all planned out, every step of the way, and it is planned out on paper (electronically at least). The detail is amazing. Nothing is left to chance. If a project lead is away it is clear someone else can step in and the quality of the product and service will not go down.



I have encountered a lot of reluctance to systematise knowledge. I am not sure why that is. The best reasons I can work out are:

  • People are worried that if they put their knowledge down in paper they will be replaced
  • People don’t want others to check out the quality of their work
  • People don’t really know what they are doing .If they put their operational instructions down on paper, they fear their ignorance will be called out



The fear that you are writing away your job is muddled. The law of comparative advantage means that is very unlikely someone else in your organisation are going to do the job. To understand why, read this article.

You may find out that the job is not being done well. Key steps are being missed out, key people not being met.  That is a good thing.

Now, systematization has to be done on paper. Telepathy does not work. A lot of people know I wrong and are keeping me in the dark on how to master telepathy.

It seems such a no-brainer, you would wonder why systematizing of knowledge is not more popular.