The European Consumer Organisation: Pioneer in Advocacy and Lobbying

  • Johannes KleisEmail author


Since 1962, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has been part of the EU’s—and its predecessors’—legislative scene. BEUC has both been an actor and witness of the developments in the EU’s consumer policy and lobbying landscape. This article sketches the evolution of BEUC within the European integration process and relates this to the expansion of the EU’s consumer policy. By means of two case studies—the battle to ban lead in petrol and efforts to regulate hormone-disrupting chemicals—it illustrates two characteristics of EU lobbying, namely, agenda setting and exertion of influence by non-EU actors. Through criteria such as credibility, legitimacy and resources, the article outlines intersections and differences between public and private interest representation. The article concludes with an outlook of how current political trends—EU scepticism and better regulation—will shape the way lobbying for the consumer interest may develop in the future.


  1. BEUC. (1962). Statutes. Brussels.Google Scholar
  2. BEUC. (1981). Statutes. Brussels.Google Scholar
  3. BEUC. (1982). Declaration on lead in petrol, Brussels.Google Scholar
  4. BEUC. (1983a). News, No. 23 (April), Brussels.Google Scholar
  5. BEUC. (1995). Statutes, Brussels.Google Scholar
  6. BEUC. (2011). Strengthening the Consumer Movement in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (CESEE). Brussels.Google Scholar
  7. BEUC. (2012). EU Consumers’ 2020 Vision. Brussels.Google Scholar
  8. BEUC. (2016). Letter to European Commissioners Jonathan Hill and Pierre Moscovici, BEUC-X-2016-042, Brussels.Google Scholar
  9. BEUC (Goldman, P.) (1983b). Lead in petrol. Conference Conclusions, Brussels.Google Scholar
  10. Curtis, M. (1992). The European Consumers Organisation: BEUC. Analysis of an interest groups’ influence on the “Consumer Policy Budget 1992″: A blue print for lobbying post-Maastricht? College of Europe.Google Scholar
  11. Farmer, A. (Ed.). (2012). Manual of European environmental policy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Forty Years of EU Consumer Protection: Where Does It Stand Now? (2015). Legal issues of economic integration, 42(3), pp. 195–200, Kluwer Law International.Google Scholar
  13. General Court of the European Union (CVRIA). (2015). Judgement in Cade T-521/14, Sweden v Commission, Press Release No 145/15, Luxembourg. Accessed May 8, 2017, from
  14. Greenwood, J. (2011). Interest representation in the European Union. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Horel, S. (2015). Intoxication. Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  16. Needleman, H., & Gee, D. (2013). Late lessons from early warnings: Science, precaution, innovation. Copenhagen: European Environment Agency.Google Scholar
  17. Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). (2014). 2014 Report on Technical Barriers to Trade, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  18. Prengel, M. (2015). Dynamique des systèmes internationaux. Négocier, Communiquer, Entreprendre à l'époque moderne et contemporaine, Université Paris IV.Google Scholar
  19. The Economist. (2016). The post-truth world. Yes, I’d lie to you, London. Accessed May 8, 2017, from
  20. Valant, J. (2015). Consumer protection in the EU. Brussels: European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The European Consumer OrganisationBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations