Advocacy and lobbying

Civil society organisations are an important factor in the process of European Union integrations. They represent the interests, needs and concerns of their constituencies. They empower people and organisations in the fight against poverty, promotion of human rights, democracy and other core values which should support access to the European Union. CSOs’ advocacy and lobbying activities should add value to ensure that both the public and public authorities understand and support their cause, gaining strength and credibility.

  • Difference between advocacy and lobbying
  • Why lobbying?

Differences between advocacy and lobbying

The goals of advocacy and lobbying are similar, but the processes are different. Advocacy is attempting to cause political action, using methods such as civil education and public campaigns, with the aim to influence decision makers.

Lobbying refers to influencing the government and its leaders.

There are two types of lobbying:

  • Direct lobbying
  • Grassroots lobbying

Direct lobbying is communicating your views to a legislator or a staff member or any other government employee who may help to develop legislation.

In order for this communication to be considered direct lobbying, it must refer to specific legislation and must reflect a view on such legislation.  

Grassroots lobbying is trying to influence the public to express a particular view to their legislators about a specific legislative proposal. To be considered grassroots lobbying, the communication must refer to specific legislation, it must reflect a view on the legislation and must encourage the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to the legislation.

Advocacy is a broader set of activities aimed to change public opinion or to get public support.

The advocacy strategy can include activities such as:

  • Articles in newspapers
  • Feature stories about how an individual or group was helped or has benefited from the organisation or action
  • Distribution of promotion materials etc.
Public Administration Reform
The TACSO Regional Office and Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina jointly organised a Regional Conference, Dialogue and Cooperation with Civil Society for Better Public Administration Results from March 13-14, 2017 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photos are courtesy of Vanja Čerimagić,
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