Initially, Public Affairs companies such as Burson Cohn & Wolfe, Deva, FTI Consulting, Kreab, HAC Leadership & Management, OmnicomPRGroup, Political Intelligence, and Weber Shandwick have joined APRI. The Spanish Association of Institutional Relations Professionals (APRI) plans to incorporate not only consulting and specialized firms, but also organizations and companies with staff dedicated to lobbying, to normalise and promote the activity in Spain.
In so doing, APRI gives entry to legal entities that lobby, represent interests, or work in the field of public affairs or institutional relations. The Association will transfer legitimate interests to public administrations, especially focusing on the legislative and executive powers, not only at a European level, but also at a national, regional and local level, no matter if they are commercial entities, business, non-profit or employers’ organizations, professional associations, etc.
This will allow APRI and its new member organisations implement initiatives and actions in the field of self-regulation, exchange of experiences and professionalization of the sector, by connecting private and civil society interests with all types of public administrations.
In the words of María Rosa Rotondo, President of the APRI, "the incorporation of legal entities into APRI will undoubtedly strengthen the existing actions of our Association, offering the possibility to all members who develop public affairs activities –regardless of their sector–jointly represent their interests and proposals towards institutions and society as a whole within transparency and good practice ".
The organizations and companies that now join the Association, will be able to combine their representation in the APRI´s General Assembly with their participation in the Business Forum, with the view to promote projects and initiatives aimed to raise awareness, as well as to analyse trends in the field of public affairs, providing advice in this matter.
Among the most recent projects promoted by the Forum, stand out the first book on lobbying in Spain with the participation of experts on this sector; as well as the first study on the field of institutional relations, in collaboration with Spain's leading companies and business associations.
In 2019, APRI plans to increase its educational activities, debates, trends and barriers analysis of the public affairs sector.
APRI, a hundred associates who support the Europeanization of the Spanish lobby
Founded in 2008 by institutional relations professionals in Spain, APRI was born to fill a gap in the representation and partnership of this profession.
Its main objective is to make lobbying a profession of recognised prestige and value for society in general, but also for those responsible of all sort of organisations, such as companies, NGOs or business associations. A profession that serves as an effective link between the legitimate interests of civil society and the general interest decisions, taken by policymakers such as the Government and the Parliament and other public powers of the Central Administration and its Autonomous Communities.
Since the very first day, the Association has taken transparency, professional ethics and integrity as key elements in the professional practice of public affairs. For this reason, since 2011 all members must sign a code of conduct, which represents a self-regulatory body, due to the absence of official rules on the activity in Spain.
APRI has around 100 members who advocate for the normalisation of lobbying through the establishment of interest groups register, similar to the already existent EU Transparency Register, present in the European Parliament and the EU Commission.
APRI is also the founder and member of the Public Affairs Community of Europe (PACE) created in 2018 as a platform for all national organisations of European public affairs professionals, committed to contribute to the development of more transparent procedures in the adoption of public policies across Europe by consolidating a participatory democracy within member states.