Recommendation on the WEEE legislation lobbying program development

In the context of WEEE recycling, lobbying is the act of attempting to influence business and government leaders with legal means to initiate suitable policy or legislation development (or revision) process on a national level. The key activity of lobbying is providing accurate, relevant and complete information to stakeholders to increase their awareness, which would trigger their interest and, finally, legislative actions.

It is important to ensure transparency of lobbying process, its objectives, and methods and sponsors to avoid illegal conducts and corruption

  1. Lobbying objectives, milestones and goals

Clear objectives must be defined. It could be:

  • Initiate a policy development for WEEE recycling system introduction
  • Initiate a legislative process to develop legal frame for WEEE recycling system introduction
  • Initiate a change process to revise existing legislation

It is advisable to define the key milestones/deliverables and measurable goals of the lobbying, like:

  • Key stakeholders agree on common policy approach (Milestone)
  • Authorities approve WEEE recycling policy document (Goal)
  • Ministry of Environment drafts WEEE legislation (Milestone)
  • Parliament approves WEEE recycling legal frame (Goal)
  1. Lobbying key messages

As the lobbying aim to influence political processes, the communication messages and arguments why certain political decisions are required become very important. Lobbying key messages should include

  • The desired change or action (for example call to develop WEEE recycling policy and legislation)

The message should be supported by argumentation; in the context of WEEE recycling, 3 types of key supportive arguments are useful to consider:

  • Regulated WEEE recycling protects the environment by reducing hazardous emissions to water, soil and air; and protects workers health who are engaged in the processes of dismantling and treatment of WEEE
  • Regulated WEEE recycling optimizes resources use and increased materials recycling (precious metals, plastic, etc.).
  • Regulated WEEE recycling supports socio-economic development, by creating new revenue streams, more taxes and adding jobs in waste management and recycling sector; and in re-use business.
  1. Key stakeholders mapping

In the context of WEEE recycling, following stakeholders should be considered:

  • Producers and importers; trade (individual organizations and associations)
  • Dismantling companies and recyclers (individual organizations and associations)
  • Municipalities
  • Ministry of Environment
  • Ministry of Economy
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Parliament
  • Informal sector
  • Waste management companies (individual organizations and associations)
  • NGOs
  • International organizations
  • Press
  • Consumers
  1. Executive communication with key stakeholders – operative tips
  • All key stakeholders should increase their expertise in WEEE recycling benefits (trainings, roundtables, conferences, meetings).
  • It is advisable that all key stakeholders who support the lobbying proposal conduct communication with political decision makers to ensure wider platform of lobbying. Messages should be clear and aligned between lobbying partners.
  • Also communication in media becomes important in the lobbying processes – to gain understanding and public support.
  • If possible, key stakeholder alliances should be formalized, by signing a Memorandum of Joint Cooperation, Protocol of Joint Actions, to form WEEE Recycling Initiative Group or Association. The letters, position papers, press-statements should be issued from these groups.
  • Often the partners in WEEE recycling lobbying projects are competitors in the business area; for that reason, meetings should always have an agenda and must be protocolled; and participants must avoid all discussion, which distorts competition or could be perceived as such.
  1. Lobbying organization

Effective lobbying takes resources and requires many coordinated actions. A project group should be formed to ensure inclusion of all interested parties and information exchange between partners.

  1. Conclusions

While political process is usually unpredictable, the lobbying process increases the probability that desired decisions will be made and implemented. It is crucial to focus on:

  • Key stakeholders know-how development
  • Having a clear objectives and vision of success
  • Develop a plan with key elements and implement it in organized and transparent manner
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