When lobbying meetings range from the obnoxious to the cute
Over 2 years of not blogging. No time, no inspiration, no….I don’t know. I guess sometimes being in the EU bubble and talking about it induces too much claustrophobia to be enjoyable.
But this week, my usual cynical self had a range of meetings that I just briefly wanted to share, as they thinly cracked my defensive varnish layer of indifference.
The first meeting was about Intellectual Property Rights. I have for a long time been able to slide by the subject in my activities as an Internet lobbyist. The issue is complex to a certain extent because it is rife with emotions and, well, I guess us lobbyists tend to be careful with emotions in the course of our business activities. But sometimes, you just can’t avoid a subject when it becomes so ominous in the debates. So here I was, attending an IPR roundtable. I’m not sure if it was under Chatham House Rules and I won’t bore you with the details. What amazed me was the absolute unwillingness of many around that table to even listen to opposite views. And the anger with which they would present their own. I am used to all panelists on a debate starting with the famous ‘I agree with my co-panelist’ followed by a ‘BUT’ and a cool dismantling of the ‘oppositions’ arguments. None of this in this case: just sheer antagonism and monologues. Well, I guess there’s no age to discover new ways of lobbying.
Which brings me to my second ‘new’ meeting experience, this time in the area of animal welfare (yes, I know, not very obvious to have a meeting on that topic as an internet lobbyist but sometimes you just do something because the cause is worthy :)). Here, my meeting was one also where emotions could be felt, but all of them in the right place: we talked about what is important for animal welfare and how to improve it. And the coolest participant in the room was the beautiful black dog that greeted us upon entering the office (no offense to the other participants) and promptly brought his bone to us, for us to play fetch.
Who would have thought Brussels could still surprise me twice in the same week?