Lobbying: A Courtship Game

Have you ever played cat and mouse as a child and never wanted to stop? I might have a career path for you. Lobbyist.

Granted it might be a little more complex than that to be a Lobbyist, but during the workshop that tax expert and lobbyist for Oxfam Novib, Francis Weyzig, gave last week it seems the work closely resemble a courtship game.

After a short briefing of what his work meant and how he goes about it, Francis had prepared two small roleplay sessions, in which we could try our diplomacy and influencing skills.


The first roleplay was about a new EU policy that was proposed by the commission and had to be defended in the parliament and council. There was some confusion during the debates as most interns were not familiar with the differences between the different parties. That taught us another lesson about lobbying, however, it can be easy to forget what you stand for and your own priorities in the compromise making diplomatic process.

During the second one, in which I could participate, the OECD was to come up with a new measure that would satisfy NGO’s and the financial sector alike. No small task, and in the end the power-play was in full action and compromises had to be made.


Lobbying, all in all, is more about the subtle behind-the-door talks and meetings than it is about having heated debates or engaging protests.


This blog was written by Marjorie Burkhalter, Communication Intern, Even it Up campaign. Read more about Marjorie here!


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