Keeping the status quo: business success in the EU collective redress initiative
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The European Commission initiative on collective redress was a failed attempt to introduce a form of class action in the European Union. Business organizations were firmly opposing the proposal, while citizen interest groups were mobilized to support it. The outcome was rather puzzling because some previous research suggests that business organizations in the European Union most often find themselves unsuccessful in defending the status quo, especially in the field of environmental and consumer protection. Business lobbying success in this case is explained by the low media salience of the issue and diverging preferences among public officials. The article illustrates how lobbying success in the European Union can also be achieved by maintaining the status quo and contributes to our understanding of contextual factors, most notably the role of policymakers.
KeywordsInterest groups European Union Collective redress Lobbying success Salience
This research was supported by the European Research Council grant ERC-2013-CoG 616702-iBias. I would like to thank Jan Beyers and two anonymous reviewers for comments on previous versions of this article and the interviewees who gave so freely of their time.
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