Advertisement

Interest Representation in the EU: An Open and Structured Dialogue?

  • Justin Greenwood
Chapter

Abstract

Since 1992, the European Commission has sought to build ‘An Open and Structured Dialogue’ with interest groups, and since 2001 a broader ‘Dialogue with Civil Society’. A core feature of this dialogue involves instruments of transparency, and pluralism, with funding to ensure the presence of a wide range of voices. Consultation procedures provide for a ‘marketplace of ideas’ which simulate political competition and contestation, with a ‘voice but not a vote’, and which are supposed to provide for answerability by the European Commission for its policy choices. The European Commission also selects its allies to support its regulatory proposals, with NGOs frequent allies as well as firms and business sectors supporting higher standards. The EU’s fragmented decision-making system helps to provide a naturally pluralist environment, although some recent research suggests that NGOs are more likely to be successful in securing their policy goals than business organizations. NGOs work mostly in coalitions, with the size of coalition a factor in lobbying success. The saliency of issues is another substantial feature of variation in lobbying success and where NGOs can raise the contention of issues they can bring wider participation in EU issues.

References

  1. Ariès, Q., & Panichi, J. (2015). Inside the EU’s palaces of protest. Politico. Accessed August 26, 2016, from http://www.politico.eu/article/europes-activism-lobbyists-institutions-ngos-civil-society/
  2. Boräng, F., & Naurin, D. (2015). ‘Try to see it my way!’ Frame congruence between lobbyists and European Commission officials. Journal of European Public Policy, 22(4), 499–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bouza Garcia, L., & Greenwood, J. (2014). The European citizens’ initiative: A new sphere of EU politics? Interest Groups & Advocacy, 3, 246–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Broscheid, A., & Coen, D. (2007). Lobbying activity and fora creation in the EU: Empirically exploring the nature of the public good. Journal of European Public Policy, 14(3), 346–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crespy, A. (2014). Deliberative democracy & the legitimacy of the EU: A reappraisal of conflict. Political Studies, 62, 81–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dür, A., & Mateo, G. (2014). Public opinion & interest group influence: How citizen groups derailed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Journal of European Public Policy, 21(8), 1199–1217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dür, A., Bernhagen, P., & Marshall, D. (2015). Interest group success in the EU: How and why do business lose? Comparative Political Studies, 48(8), 951–983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ECORYS. (2007). A voice, not a vote: Evaluation of the civil society dialogue at DG Trade. Accessed August 29, 2016, from http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2007/march/tradoc_133527.pdf
  9. European Commission. (2001). White Paper on Governance. Accessed August 22, 2016, from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:l10109
  10. European Commission. (2014). Agreement between the European Parliament and the European Commission on the transparency register for organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy-making and policy implementation. OJ L 277, 19.9.2014 (pp. 11–24). Accessed October 22, 2018, from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.277.01.0011.01.ENG
  11. European Commission. (2015). Report on the application in 2014 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, Brussels, 6.8.2015 COM(2015) 391 final. Accessed August 23, 2016, from http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2015/EN/1-2015-391-EN-F1-1.PDF
  12. Gehlen, C., & Webber, D. (2006). Lobbying in Brussels: The EU directive on the patentability of computer implemented inventions (A), European Case Clearing House case reference no. 206-062-1.Google Scholar
  13. Gornitzka, A., & Sverdrup, U. (2015). Societal inclusion in expert venues: Participation of interest groups and business in the European Commission Expert Groups. Politics & Governance, 3(1), 151–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Greenwood, J., & Dreger, J. (2013). The Transparency Register: A strong vanguard of European lobby regulation? Interest Groups & Advocacy, 2(2), 139–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greenwood, J., & Tuokko, K. (2016). The European citizens’ initiative: The territorial extension of a European political public sphere? European Politics and Society, 17, 4.  https://doi.org/10.1080/23745118.2016.1202234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Inter-Institutional Agreement on the Transparency Register. Accessed August 29, 2016., from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2014-0376+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN
  17. Iusman, I., & Boswell, J. (2016). The dilemmas of pursuing ‘throughput legitimacy’ through participatory measures. West European Politics, 40(2), 459–478.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2016.1206380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jacquot, S., & Vitale, T. (2014). Law as weapon of the weak? A comparative analysis of legal mobilization by Roma and women’s groups at the European level. Journal of European Public Policy, 21(4), 587–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Klüver, H., Braun, C., & Beyers, J. (2015). Legislative lobbying in context: Towards a conceptual framework of interest group lobbying in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 22(4), 447–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kohler Koch, B. (2012). Post-Maastricht civil society and participatory democracy. Journal of European Integration, 34(7), 809–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kohler Koch, B., & Quittkat, C (2013). De-mystification of participatory democracy: EU governance and civil society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Leiren, M., & Parks, L. (2014). When trade unions succeed: Cases of blocked liberalisation in the common market. European Journal of Political Research, 53(3), 465–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mandelkern Report. (2001). Mandelkern Group on Better Regulation Final Report of 13 Nov. 2001. Accessed June 6, 2017, from http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/better_regulation/documents/mandelkern_report.pdf
  24. Official Journal of the European Communities. (1993). An open and structured dialogue between the commission and special interest groups, 93/C/63/02. Accessed August 22, 2016, from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:C:1993:063:FULL&from=en
  25. Panichi, J. (2015). Commission agrees to boost revolving door transparency, Politico, 14 December 15. Accessed August 29, 2016, from http://www.politico.eu/article/commission-agrees-to-boost-revolving-door-transparency-lobbying-juncker-ombudsman/
  26. Parks, L. (2015). Social movement campaigns on EU policy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schmidt, V. (2012). Democracy and legitimacy in the EU revisited: Input, output and throughput. Political Studies, 61(1), 2–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smismans, S., & Minto, R. (2016). Are integrated impact assessments the way forward for mainstreaming in the European Union? Regulation & Governance, 11(3), 231–251.  https://doi.org/10.1111/rego.12119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Toor, A. (2016, August 30). Europe’s net neutrality guidelines seen as a victory for the open web. The Verge. Accessed June 6, 2017, from https://www.theverge.com/2016/8/30/12707590/eu-net-neutrality-rules-final-guidelines-berec
  30. Transparency International (TI). (2015). Lobbying in Europe: Hidden influence, privileged access. Accessed August 29, 2016, from http://www.transparencyinternational.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Lobbying_web.pdf
  31. van de Steeg, M. (2010). Theoretical reflections on the public sphere in the European Union. A network of communication or a political community? In C. Bee & E. Bozzini (Eds.), Mapping the European Public Sphere: Institutions, media and civil society (pp. 31–46). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  32. von der Berchard, H. (2016, July 14). The man who killed TTIP. Politico. Accessed August 30, 2016, from http://www.politico.eu/article/the-man-who-killed-ttip-thilo-bode-foodwatch-germany-free-trade/
  33. Woll, C. (2012). The brash & the soft-spoken: Lobbying styles in a transatlantic comparison. Interest Groups & Advocacy, 1(2), 193–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Young, A. R. (2010). The politics of regulation and the internal market. In K. E. Jørgensen, M. A. Pollack, & B. Rosamond (Eds.), Handbook of European Union politics (pp. 373–394). London: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robert Gordon UniversityAberdeenUK

Personalised recommendations