The UK Law Societies’ Brussels Office and the Society of European Affairs Professionals held an evening event on 7th November 2018 to discuss the role of ethics and codes of conduct in the era of increased lobbying regulation. It was attended by approximately 60 participants, from a variety of industries and from all around Europe. 

The event was an exploratory discussion on the key issues affecting the public affairs profession and the wider regulatory environment and raised some very interesting points particularly regarding the line between lobbying and undue influence. 

This event brought together a panel of experts from the EU and the UK to discuss the following issues:

  • The gaps between lobbying regulations and ethical codes of conduct or ethical principles including the rules on cooling off periods, revolving door regulations and conflicts of interest
  • Limitations on the law on lobbying
  • The line between where regulation ends, and ethics begins
  • The role of professional public affairs bodies and how far they should be involved with enforcement of the codes of conduct and professional development.

The panel discussion was opened by Helena Raulus, Head of the UK Law Societies Brussels Office and Wes Himes, SEAP President. The panel comprised:

  • Wes Himes, President, SEAP
  • Vitor Teixeira, Policy Officer EU Integrity, Transparency International
  • Koen Roovers, Case Handler, Strategic Inquiries Unit, European Ombudsman
  • Mark Clough QC, Law Society of England and Wales

The discussion was moderated by Anna Drozd, EU policy adviser with the UK Law Societies Brussels Office and Board Member of SEAP.

The event was followed by a drinks reception which continued late into the evening.