Publication of the report “Strengthening the Transparency and Integrity of Foreign Influence Activities in France”

At the request of the French High Authority for Transparency in Public Life, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes a report which identifies concrete actions to make legitimate foreign influence activities more transparent, discourage foreign interference activities through deceptive or covert lobbying, and ensure that the control of movement of public officials between the public and private sectors takes better account of this risk.

The increasing number of direct and indirect influence activities carried out by foreign States, and their lack of traceability and their complexity, pose major risks to national democratic processes. The High Authority already contributes to bringing transparency to this phenomenon (by regulating the representation of interests, monitoring public officials’ declarations of assets and interests, monitoring revolving-doors between the public and private sectors), without, however, having any tools dedicated to or adapted to such a mission at this stage.

In March 2023, the High Authority therefore requested the OECD – known for its international expertise on lobbying, public integrity and strengthening democracy – to identify solutions aimed at reinforcing the transparency of foreign influence actions in France. This work is based on multiple interviews with the High Authority and the administrations dealing with this issue, along with administrations of Australia, the United-Kingdom and the Unites-States, and with the European Commission.

Based on an analysis of the French framework for tackling foreign interference, particularly through lobbying, the OECD report « Strengthening the Transparency and Integrity of Foreign Influence Activities in France » includes recommendations designed to complement the existing framework, improve the transparency of foreign influence campaigns and the detection of risks of interference.

The OECD identifies the need to reinforce the transparency of foreign influence activities through an ad hoc mechanism – a register administered by the High Authority, separate from the current register of interest representatives – and to improve the integrity standards applicable to foreign influence, including by taking better account of the risk of interference in the ethical control of revolving door-movements between the public and private sectors.

haut de page
haut de page