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Short introductory lecture about lobbying in the European Union. November 15, 2012, Public Administration and Policy Group, Wageningen University.
European Union Institutions and Policies, PAP-53306
November 15, 2012
Gerard Breeman and Jeroen Candel, Public Administration Group
What is lobbying?
Lobbying ≠ bribing
Attempt to influence political decisions
On behalf of a group (e.g. industries, labour unions, NGOs)
Active wherever political decisions are made (e.g. Wageningen, Arnhem, The Hague, Brussels)
Who are those lobbyists?
About 3000 lobby groups with a permanent office in Brussels
Big variety: private vs. publlic, profit vs. non-profit
Industries form biggest group (about 70%)
Financial support (1 billion euro) for non-commercial interests (e.g. elderly, handicapped people, women)
How do those groups look like?
Most important form is European umbrella organization/ Eurofederation:
European secretariat: spider in the web
General assembly: formal decisions
Executive committee: supervision and short term decisions
What do they do? (1)
Networks and coalitions:
Feel own position out
Coordinating positions and strategies
What do they do? (2)
What’s their value?
Information and expertise
Grassroots support implementation
Institutionalized (e.g. ESC, COR) vs. non-institutionalized
National, European, international
Consequences lobbying (1)
Democratic? Two visions:
1. Groups can make themselves heard; open system; possibilities for groups that are not heard on national level (e.g. Roma)
2. Disadvantage for groups that rely on outside lobbying; some categories better represented than others; ‘backroom politics’
Consequences lobbying (2)
Winners and losers in EU?
1. Groups that rely on inside lobbying have advantage
2. Small, flexible groups more effective in being active on multiple governance levels
3. More opportunities for groups that seek change, than for groups that defend status quo
In general: industries + small and flexible NGOs are winners, traditional ‘mass organizations’ losers
Thank you for your kind attention!
[email protected]/ [email protected]
Twitter: @JeroenWUR & @GBreeman