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Official business : accounting for interest group influence in EU Commission policy-making

Abstract : This study is an account of interest group representation and lobbying success in the European Union. The questions I address are when and why interest groups succeed (or fail) to obtain their preferred policy outcome in the European Commission decision-making process. Lobbying success cannot be exclusively perceived as a function of the political resource exchanges between interest group coalitions and EU institutions. Instead, I argue that policy influence is a complex process that is under the control of policymakers. While multiple actors can effectively influence policy, public officials have a central-veto player-role in the process. They can also accommodate or reject interest group demands for other reasons than information exchange, such as their own ideological preferences, institutional embeddedness or the policy context. I argue that lobbying success can be better explained by a convergence between policymaker preferences, interest group preferences, and the policy context in which their preferences emerge. Thus, I focus on the role of policymakers as the predominant actors with formal agency capacities to change policy. Interest group scholars rely on methodological diversity, combining process tracing and survey designs, to establish the policy preferences of relevant political actors. By using such an approach, the results presented here paint a more refined picture of lobbying success, which depends much more on policymaker preferences than previous studies have considered. This conclusion should encourage scholars in the field to pay more attention to strong and weak ties within policy elite networks in an effort to better understand lobbying success.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 3:44:39 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 1:26:13 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-03647489, version 1



Vlad Gross. Official business : accounting for interest group influence in EU Commission policy-making. Political science. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015IEPP0027⟩. ⟨tel-03647489⟩



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