Lobbying in the European Parliament: Who Tips the Scales?
This chapter explains when and how interest groups are influential in the European Parliament (EP), which has become one of the most important lobbying venues in the European Union (EU). The chapter shows that lobbying success depends on a number of factors, most notably the degree of counter-lobbying, issue salience, and committee receptiveness. These factors are brought together in the framework of “Triple-I”—interests, issues, and institutions—to determine the success or failure of lobbying. The chapter shows that business is likely to prevail over EP policy outcomes in instances when there is unity within the business community, business groups are faced with low salience issues, and mainstream committees are in charge of dossiers. There are also instances where the EP takes up its traditional role as a policy entrepreneur of diffuse interests at the expense of business. This is most likely to happen when European business federations are divided, they lobby on highly salient and politicized issues, and they are faced with periphery committees with little co-decision experience. Business often finds itself battling not labor unions or NGOs but itself.
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