Transparency International recently calculated a conservative estimate for the number of Brussels lobbyists as 25,000, with a further 10-15,000 lobbyists across Europe that come to influence decisions in Brussels.
According to the transparency register there are 278 consultancy firms with a Brussels office. In previous times, the Register would not have provided an accurate picture, but now it does given that EU officials refuse to have meetings with consultancies or with their clients if they organise the meetings.
In addition there are 121 self-employed individual lobbyist consultants on the register.
As discussed above, the top 3 by revenue are FTI, BM and FH. The leading Brussels PA agencies in alphabetical order are:
- Avisa Partners
- Cabinet DN
- Cambre Associates
- FTI Consulting
- Hill & Knowlton
- Hume Brophy
- Interel European Affairs
- Kreab Gavin Anderson
- Weber Shandwick
Many of these have particular policy/practice strengths – for instance the leaders in financial services are FH, Kreab and FTI. The most prominent healthcare practices are at BM, APCO, FTI and Hanover etc. Increasingly public affairs clients are really looking for value added expertise in their policy areas – if you do not have senior policy experts in a particular policy field you cannot expect to gain ground in a highly competitive market place where sometimes 10 – 15 agencies are invited to pitch for a retainer or even a project fee.