Lobbying does not operate within a legal desert, far from it. First of all, there are lines that cannot be crossed concerning relations with public authorities: penalisation of active or passive corruption and influence peddling.
The profession is also controlled by regulations regarding consultancy professionals.
Access to French and European parliamentary offices is also regulated – either through the register of interest representatives together with rules of conduct, or, as has been the case for a long time, through assembly regulations.
Beyond this, there are regulations that no doubt concern the elected representatives more than the lobbyists: declaration of elected representatives’ interests in businesses or other organisations, declaration of travel expenses etc. – they define the rules.
The professionals within the Association of French Consultants in Lobbying have also drawn up a Code of Ethics (link to the Code) which is regularly updated, formally signed by all its members and which, in certain areas, goes beyond current legislation: incompatibility between the role of national or European elected representative and that of lobbyist, no remuneration to be given, even occasionally to any parliamentary or ministerial collaborator, transparency in contacts, integrity of information etc.