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The Europeanization of lobbying: a meta-analysis of current practices

Conceptually, this work is meant to be the follow-up of my previous thesis on alternative regulatory frameworks of lobbying practices in the EU.
After having focused on the formal aspects and on the rules regarding the concept of interest representation at the supranational level, I’m going now to focus on an outlook which considers contents, strategies and some phenomena, like Europeanization, which are far from being irrelevant, in concrete terms, at the national level.
To illustrate how new EU lobbies mobilise, this thesis describes and analyses how individual and collective actors lobby in the EU and how their behaviour has developed, which is a fundamental step in order to assess how to monitor and regulate lobbying more generally in the future. The analysis is rooted in two conceptual parts: the former provides an exhaustive picture of the state of the art about interest representation at the supranational level and in the Member States, giving a detailed and updated description of the national contexts where lobbying activities take form, a survey on the different types of interest groups and the characteristics of their collective action, focusing on business interests, with a particular outlook on the trade associations of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, which has been, for the past few years, the main object of EU industrial policy.
The latter shows how what has been proposed in the first part is naturally affected by some trends which have never found unambiguous empirical answers and have provided contradictory explanations in the most recent analyses.
Considering all the latest studies and using empirical evidence, the last part pursue the idea that EU integration and identity building have concrete influence on lobbying practices at the national level, which merits to be examined and evaluated, in order to take advantage of the lessons we can learn and trace future evolutions of behaviours.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
2.2 The “state of the art”: objectives, strategies Since, all along this work, the focus will remain centred on the role of the interest group representation, it is important to note that the EU's institutional setting and the lobbying context as described above give interest groups both advantages and disadvantages. Its machinery of decision-making full of links between the different bodies, and its variety of external linkages with the Member States, provide an almost infinite number of access points through which it is possible to lobby EU authorities. In such a differentiated institutional setting, the problem of interest groups is not a shortage but an over-supply of potential routes to influence. However, the mere plurality of actors and the complexity of the decision-making process can be serious obstacles for private interest groups as well. It is virtually impossible for any single interest or national association to secure exclusive access to the relevant officials or politicians, let alone to exert exclusive influence. In both the academic and the practically oriented lobbying literature, the wish for a level playing field for all actors in EU decision making is expressed. This may be compared with the eternal call for free and open competition on the commercial market, in which every merchant still strives to become the single monopolist. Van Schendelen has developed a model he calls the "game of triple P" to describe some facets of these attempts to obtain political influence in a quasi-monopolistic manner. The game's objective is to make the playing field more unlevelled; its participants try to place the friendliest persons in the best positions in the most beneficial procedures1. When others start to discuss about the contents of the issue, triple P players have already prearranged the playing field and limited the other players' moves by their early settling of the positions, procedures, and people favourable to their cause. The game usually has a bad reputation among the players who find themselves at the very end of the playing field. Many pressure groups, however, quickly learn it in practice. On a more instrumental level, Berry suggested already 25 years ago, in a study of lobbying by public interest groups in America, that the practices or tactics they pursued fell into three broad categories, which are still well-recognised today: 1. techniques characterised by direct communication between lobbyists and governmental officials; these include private, personal representations before people in 1 Van Schendelen, M.P.C.M., Macchiavelli in Brussels: the Art of Lobbying the EU, pp. 105 ff. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2002.

Laurea liv.II (specialistica)

Facoltà: Economia

Autore: Andrea Fioravanti Contatta »

Composta da 143 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 184 click dal 04/03/2010.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.