Enterprise and Parliament
Who we are
Enterprise and Parliamentary Dialogue International is an independent, not-for-profit body which exists to facilitate policy dialogue, to establish a transparent bridge of understanding between parliament and business and to contribute towards more effective economic legislation, for strengthening democracy and national economies.
EPDI have worked within established democracies and/or Parliaments in transition for over thirty years, including countries that have a history of conflict, corruption or both. We have developed practical approaches through experience to build the capacity of parliaments.
Our objective is to create a facility which has national ownership and staff, but is supported by EPDI, to ensure continued development and the integrity of the service being delivered. The EPDI team has a track record in establishing nationally owned centres for dialogue and helping to develop practical answers, shaped to the national circumstances, to governance and capacity building. These Dialogue Centres become a forum where legislators and business people can find fast and effective solutions, and have proved particularly useful in the transition to more democratic government.
EPDI Dialogue Centres have an effective role in:
- Strengthening democracy: Parliamentary decisions benefit from an understanding of how they affect the nation’s business and industry, and therefore its wealth and employment.
- Strengthening national economies: The business sector – from micro-businesses to inward investors and multi-nationals – profits from understanding the regulatory and legislative environment.
Our tried and tested methodology is backed by 30 years of international experience: beginning with the Westminster Parliament and FTSE-100 companies based in London through the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) and now translated into similar organisations in a total of 16 countries around the world. The EPDI’s senior Advisory Board always includes Members of the Westminster Parliament with personal international experience, and have included a former President of the Organisation for Security and Co operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly and Vice President of the Council of Europe. However, we do not seek to impose Westminster-style democracy, but to facilitate country-specific solutions without favour to special interests.
What we do
We work effectively on the relationship between those who generate the wealth of the nation and those who regulate it.
A Dialogue Centre is a national forum to facilitate engagement between government, legislators, the private sector and civil society. The objective is to realise the potential of Parliaments to contribute to national prosperity and the Rule of Law.
For countries in transition, the Dialogue Centre model functions as a risk management tool, providing a transparent means for conducting relationships with politicians and business people who often operate in corrupt environments, a gateway to engagement with the broader community, and a means of dealing with issues sensitively and, ultimately, effectively.
The Dialogue Centres offer:
- A process by which all reach a common understanding on issues and consequences.
- A process to strengthen (without pre-empting) the parliamentary process.
- A forum to facilitate debate and conclusions about legislation, ensuring that regulation is in the service of the national economy, rather than specific interest groups.
- A mechanism to de-personalise sensitive issues, enabling fact-based decision-making.
- A visible commitment to transparency and good governance, offering reassurance to the public, inward investors and international bodies.
- A contribution to the establishment of a transparently regulated market economy, to remove the possibility of corrupt practice on both sides.
Seed funding is required from business, government and international donors. Ongoing funding is by transparent annual contributions, strictly regulated so that no individual, organisation or business can buy advantage. A percentage of this annual funding supports EPDI’s International Secretariat, which guarantees the integrity of the forum and supports its development. Each activity ensures mutual benefit, meaning that contributors and participants are not paid fees. Thus a Dialogue Centre usually becomes fully established, and cost-effective, within two years.