What We Are
The International Association of Business and Parliament (IABP) is an international professional network of up to 20 national Business and Parliament chapters, which fosters mutual understanding; transparent and effective relationships between businesses and parliamentarians with the ultimate objective of informing economic policy and legislation for the benefit of the whole national economy. A Business and Parliament Chapter is a nationally owned, neutral, cross-party and non-sectoral parliamentary resource which operates in the domain of a Parliament and serves the needs of legislators.
The function of the IABP is to maintain the integrity of the Business and Parliament Chapters through its Code of Principles which defines the framework within which chapters conduct their activities. The Code of Principles guarantees the integrity of the work by national chapters, transparency of the process and the effectiveness of programmes. The IABP develops and supports the establishment of new National Chapters as well as providing experience-sharing opportunities and advice on best practice to existing Chapters.
The first scheme was established in 1977 in the UK Parliament to build mutual understanding, develop trust and build non-corrupt, transparent relationship between parliamentarians and business people that informs the development of the economy. The approach has steadily been adopted by respective national schemes in Finland, France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, USA, Canada and New Zealand. It has also been included as a resource in the Scottish Parliament and the Assemblies of Northern Ireland and Wales. The IABP has been adopted as an initiative of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
In the last few years the IABP has developed its Emerging Democracies Programme and chapters have been created in Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. Development is currently underway for chapters in Ukraine and Oman. In the case of emerging democracies, the establishment of chapters is accompanied with a multi-layer and comprehensive capacity building programme for the Parliaments.
The IABP manages the European Business and Parliament Scheme (EBPS) providing programmes and services for the 732 Members of the European Parliament and its officials. The IABP intends to extend these services to other EU nations and accession countries via the EBPS.
It has also been copied for exchanges between business and civil service such as the Whitehall and Industry Group (UK) and the European Commission’s ‘Enterprise Experience Programme’ (A recently launched high-profile initiative); and the model has been used to help engage parliamentarians with the military, police and the voluntary sector.
The national schemes are managed according to internationally recognised standards of transparency, accountability and integrity in a manner which informs policy and business decisions for the public benefit. The IABP has been increasingly recognised as setting a benchmark in transparent, non-corrupt relationships between business people and parliamentarians.
IABP methodology defines a standard of “an effective for economy Parliament”, which looks at legislative aspects, oversight, access and communication with interest groups, parliamentary systems and processes, integrity management systems and research capacity. While working in emerging democracies IABP has deployed modern approaches of change management with an emphasis on social, political and cultural analysis.
IABP recognizes and highlights to Parliamentarians the best practice of its member enterprises. Focus is held on enterprises that recognize the value of good governance and transparency in stakeholder relationships between those in business and politics. The measure of the national chapters’ outcomes is the practical impact on the poorest sectors of the national economy.
Board and Staff
The IABP is headquartered in London. It is registered in England as a non profit company limited by guarantee. The officers of the IABP are drawn from National Parliaments and EU institutions. The IABP’s Patron is Josep Borrell Fontelles MEP, President of the European Parliament,
The President of the IABP is the Rt Hon Bruce George MP, former President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Vice Presidents are the Rt. Hon Sir David Edward QC KCMG, former judge of the European Court, the Rt. Hon Jonathan Hunt, High Commissioner of New Zealand to the UK and Willy de Clercq, Minister of State, Belgium.
The Honorary Treasurer of the Association is Joe Reynolds, Deputy Clark of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Sr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca MEP, First Vice President of the European Parliament, is a Member of the Supervisory Board and the Chairman of the European Business and Parliament Scheme.
The Supervisory Board of the IABP is comprised of Directors from the established business and Parliament schemes of Belgium, Finland, Spain and Sweden. IABP employs an international staff of 16 members including those with senior management experience and specialist knowledge of parliamentary work.