APRI is the founder and member of the Public Affairs Community of Europe (PACE), created in 2018 as a platform for all the national organizations of professionals in European Public Affairs and committed to contribute to the development of more transparent proceedings in the adoption of European public policies by consolidating a participative democracy in all Member States.
The Public Affairs Community of Europe (PACE) was established on the 7th May in Rome with the aim of creating a common platform for every lobbyist and national organization in the field of Public Affairs in Europe. The 27 Member States and the European Public Affairs industry were represented by different professionals and national organizations, as well as by those of the industry in Brussels.
The consensus for the creation of PACE was reached after two long days of debates and information exchange, which were boosted and moderated by the Italian association Il Chiostro and the Spanish association APRI. In this way, the new platform shall provide support, networking and information to the European Union and to the professionals in Public Affairs of the Member States. Likewise, PACE shall represent the origin of a common European identity of professionals of the industry.
The meeting underlined the challenges and the different perspectives on this profession, which varied in every Member State from a general acceptance to several incertainties. The founders of PACE committed to a solid contribution in the construction of a more transparent procedure at the time of adopting public policies in Europe, with the help of regulatory frameworks that shall consolidate the democracy participation for all Member States.
PACE is an European association willing to gather the several national organizations in Public Affairs and lobbyists from all Europe, resting upon three main pilars – diversity, European range and high levels of ethics and transparency.
Established in Brussels in 2018 as an international non-profit organization, the history of PACE began on May 2011 when the Italian association Il Chiostro and the Spanish association APRI launched an historic and unprecedented initiative in Europe, by bringing closer every representative of all associations in Public Affairs that encompass professional lobbyists in every Member State. During its first conference in May, the representatives of the several associations from the 27 Member States exchanged experiences and debated about the most relevant topics of the profession.
At PACE, we are united under the vision of creating a platform fot the cooperation of the national associations of professionals in Public Affairs in Europe. Among our functions as professionals in the industry, we work for the contribution to the political process in decision making in a responsible and transparent way. Our focus lies in accompanying the evolution of the lobbying regulatory framework from a perspective of the Public Affairs industry with a single voice in the European countries. We are united in diversity – whichever is applied to the European Union is also applied to the national associations in Public Affairs that are united in PACE. Furthermore, Europe does not end with the European Union: with members from all Europe, PACE looks for the creation of a same environment for the European Public Affairs industry.
PACE is the voice of a community in Public Affairs in the European countries. We leverage the potential of our members and we offer a platform to exchange knowledges, experiences and to carry out debates about developments that affect us as an industry. For example, PACE has recently performed a debate about the quality of the management of political consultancy and has transfer the issue of national debate to an European forum. The main potential of PACE is its networking and the exchange of ideas that is promoted through annual conferences; as a community, we share national experiences in the industry for lobbying regulation and other relevant issues, and we endorse the creation of national associations in Public Affairs. Furthermore, any professional that might want to establish a unilaterally lobbying association can benefit from a community of associate members even during the founding phase of said association.
As an association of professionals in Public Affairs in Europe, we are convinced that the representation of interests is an integral part for the proper functioning of the democratic system. By acting as the bridge between the worlds of politics and companies, Public Affairs plays a key role in the transmission of interests in order to be reflected in the decision making process. However, this role also implies a high level of responsability and the necessity of a comprehensive and transparent behavior. For this reason, the professionals in Public Affairs at PACE settle the following main values as the foundation of their professional activities: honesty, transparency, impartiality, incompatibility, confidentiality and loyalty.