Reconciling Logics of Organizational Behaviour in the EU Public Consultations
Public consultations are an important communication channel between policymakers and interest organizations across systems and levels of governance and constitute a key venue for lobbying and interest representation. The European Union implements one of the most elaborated and complex systems of stakeholder consultations. This consultation regime constitutes an institutional constraint that structures stakeholders’ organizational and lobbying behavior. This is particularly relevant for European level associations, which aim to perform various roles within EU policymaking but whose presence and function in Brussels are challenged by a constant increase in the direct lobbying of policymakers by individual interest organizations. In relation to this, this study asks: to what extent and in what way do public consultations support the lobbying activities of European associations in EU policymaking? The study argues that public consultations support the European associations’ lobbying by offering them a venue in which they can successfully combine their ‘logic of membership’ with their ‘logic of influence’ in pursuit of their lobbying goals. The argument is supported with examples and evidence from five public consultations conducted by the European Commission in the environmental policy and two consultations on reforming the EU Better Regulation policy.
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