Article „Multifaceted Challenges to Democracy - Lobbying and Current Trends of its Legal Regulation“
Keywords:lobbying, lobbying activities, interest groups, legal regulation
Lobbying has become an important accompanying event of the political system of modern democratic countries, playing a significant role in representing and protecting the interests of individual members of society before the governmental bodies. It is believed that the mentioned mechanism is becoming more and more important in terms of quick and effective communication of society members with the government. However, the various attitudes towards lobbying and in some cases, its association with negative events creates significant challenges regarding its legal functioning in a modern democracy. Taking into account the increased involvement of lobbying in decision-making and political processes, it is an important task of democratic states to bring it into the legal regulations and to implement it within the framework of the law. Precisely, appropriate legal mechanisms should ensure the maintaining of balance, which on the one hand will facilitate the functioning of the abovementioned mechanism of expressing and representing the interests of society members and on the other hand, ensure the protection of public interests in the decision-making process and the conduct of such a process based on the principle of publicity, it will also make the persons performing similar activities properly accountable. Although a number of countries (for example, the United States of America) started thinking about the legal regulation of lobbying in the 30s of the last century, however, the first and second decades of the 21st century turned out to be quite important in terms of the legal regulation of lobbying, when about 30 countries adopted relevant legal acts on the regulation of lobbying, thus these countries legally recognized the implementation of similar activities and determined the possibility of conducting them within the framework of the law. The presented article deals with the review of the experience of the legal regulation of lobbying in foreign countries, in which the legislative acts adopted in certain countries (France, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Canada, Taiwan and others) in the recent period regarding the legal regulation of lobbying have been analyzed, the goals, tasks, principles of legal regulation of lobbying, essential features of legislative acts regulating lobbying activity, issues related to the publicity and accountability of lobbying activity, as well as the transformation that the legal regulation of the mentioned event has experienced during the last decade, have been reviewed. The essential aspects related to the legal functioning of lobbying as a legal event in the respective countries have been presented.
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