“The association was founded to organise, promote, represent and provide support to Public Affairs professionals in Belgium and abroad. To this end, the association shall, among others, establish and promote a code of conduct and quality assurance requirements for Public Affairs professionals” (founding act Bepact, 16 February 2016, Belgian Official Gazette).
Context and objectives
Public Affairs (which includes but is not restricted to advocacy and lobbying) undeniably has a place in our political and social landscape. Every day policy-makers take important decisions, that influence citizens’ lives and have an impact on specific businesses and other organisations such as sectoral federations, employers’ organisations, NGOs and various interest groups. Public Affairs professionals defend the interests of these organisations by communicating and exchanging information with policy-makers, their advisors and other stakeholders. Public Affairs are a vital part of the democratic process forming a link in society as a whole by sharing insights, expertise and experience.
Bepact stands for the ‘Belgian Public Affairs Community’ and groups Public Affairs professionals in Belgium, allowing them to share their knowledge and experience. Bepact also wants to be a focal point about Public Affairs in Belgium. The association has drawn up a Charter of Ethical Conduct with a view to a further professionalization and better understanding of the profession. This Charter implements one of the objectives in Bepact’s articles of association.
Bepact’s Charter of Ethical Conduct provides Public Affairs professionals with a clear ethical framework within which they must operate. This Charter is founded on three core values, namely transparency, integrity and respect. This Charter also wishes to clarify the nature of the profession of Public Affairs professionals and as such is a clear signal to the outside world. Bepact thus provides an answer to the demand for transparency and ethics in the relationship between Public Affairs professionals, the world of politics and other stakeholders.
Bepact members sign the Bepact Charter of Ethical conduct and commit to observe it. Obviously, this Charter does not cover every specific situation. It does, however, promote the most important deontological rules and the values on which they are founded.