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ABIS GlobalProjectsTransforming Business-Government Relations For Growth…

Transforming Business-Government Relations For Growth & Competitiveness (EPPA)

In 2011, ABIS launched a qualitative, interview-based research with EPPA to examine how corporate leaders and senior policy figures perceive the influence of their interrelations on strategic decision-making. A select group of multinational companies across multiple sectors and EU institutions were engaged through interviews to explore how executives receive and internalize political signals, especially from the EU, and align regulatory risk / opportunity with business strategy and planning.

A similar dialogue was initiated with the major EU institutions to better understand how leading policy-makers and regulators perceive the role of business in informing new political and legislative frameworks, as well as the methods for engagement that deliver better outcomes for all stakeholders.

Outcome

The initiative supported corporate practice by developing new insights on:

  • Cross-sector similarities and differences in perception among senior decision-makers in companies and the EU institutions;
  • Essential competencies/capabilities required of the roles identified below to deliver value-adding performance through the management of business/government relations;
  • Communication of and strategies for implementation of business/government relations outcomes, in terms of pending and existing legislation (by sector and more broadly).

Background Context

Business has increasingly absorbed functions previously assigned to government - social welfare, education and community investment – while civil society and consumer organisations have sought a constraining role on the economic power of business. Now, the economic and financial crisis has sharpened the tensions between these society actors with resultant pressures for a new regulatory era. These questions of governance are throwing a spotlight on business-government interaction and how this impacts on the interests of other stakeholders.

The launch of Agenda 2020 and of Innovation Europe, the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the challenges of governance in the Economic and Monetary Union and the search for more transparency and accountability in business-government dealings all point to a need for transformational governance and for innovation in public management too.

It is also clear that if business is to act as a major driver of progress towards the attainment of these political objectives, corporations will have to consider EU policy relations as a key aspect of strategic planning – one that requires boardroom scrutiny in terms of risk and opportunity assessment.

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