Today, business and politics are closely linked. The consensus of a liberal democracy is not a fixed factor. This must be re-derived for current issues and does not work without lively discussions and two-way arguments.
Business is increasingly trying to have a say in politics and to help shape it. In order to act politically in the various sectors of the economy, various interest groups have been formed. These groups can be companies, institutions, churches or political media. Nowadays, environmental organizations have a strong voice in politics. They are accompanied by communication agencies or policy advisors.
Politicians have no knowledge advantage
Looking at current events in society, the environment, the economy or politics, it quickly becomes apparent that socio-political challenges are associated with increasing complexity. Much discussed topics such as climate change, genetic engineering or integration require specialist advice. Politicians are not scientists in every single field and therefore do not have sufficient information for complex decisions. In order to be able to make a professional decision, specific advice is needed.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier commented on the subject as follows:
Lobbying is legitimate representation of interests
In Germany, the reputation of a political advisor, communications agency or lobby is often negatively associated. They are often accused of thinking only about money and asserting their personal interests at all costs. In the process, society forgets to look at what is essential. But is that really the case?
The large number of lobby groups can ensure that politicians are trained by specialist advisers in important decision-making processes. It is only through the competition between opposing interest groups, which are involved in the political process, that something like the common good can ultimately emerge or be increased. With increasing globalization, specialist knowledge is essential for current complex and controversial issues. Precisely because many politicians do not come from business or have an economic background, help from business is needed at this interface to make socio-political decisions.
Lobbying is part of Public Affairs
Lobbying isn’t black magic. Rather, it is part of public affairs. Public affairs mediate interests at an early stage. The business world can impart specialist knowledge at the interface of politics and clarify its interests. The aim of lobbying is to find a uniform solution both for society and the economy as well as for politics. What should not be disregarded in consulting activities, however, are moral and social basic rules.