Advertisement

Asymmetric Patterns in the Civil Society’s Access to the European Commission: The Cases of DG FISMA and DG TRADE

  • Giuseppe Montalbano
Chapter
Part of the International Series on Public Policy book series (ISPP)

Abstract

This chapter investigates the various factors that enable competing corporate and non-corporate organized interests to gain access to the European Commission’s policy-definition venues. It hypothesizes that, while economic relevance and lobbying resources ensure privileged access for business representatives at large, and in particular for the large European associations and firms, non-corporate organized groups improve their chances of access when the policy issues they address—together with the objectives they strive for—gain a sufficient degree of public and political salience. In order to test this hypothesis, the chapter focuses on the expert groups, stakeholders’ consultations, and grant programmemes for civil society organizations in the DGs Fisma and Trade, addressing two policy areas that came to the fore between 2008 and 2015.

Keywords

Civil Society Expert Group Civil Society Organization Business Interest Civil Society Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. ALTER-EU. (2008). Secrecy and corporate dominance. A study on the composition and transparency of European Commission Expert Groups, Brussels.Google Scholar
  2. ALTER-EU. (2009, July 31). Letter to the Secretariat-General of the European Commission on Expert Groups.Google Scholar
  3. ALTER-EU. (2010). Complaint about Maladministration. Brussels. European Ombudsman 2010. Retrieved July 07, 2010, from http://alter-eu.org/sites/default/files/documents/ombudsman_to_commission_20.10.10.pdf
  4. Beyers, J. (2002). Gaining and seeking access: The European adaptation of domestic interest associations. European Journal of Political Research, 41, 585–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bouwen, P. (2002). Corporate lobbying in the European Union: The logic of access. Journal of European Public Policy, 9(3), 365–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bouwen, P. (2004). Exchanging access goods for access. A comparative study of business lobbying in the European Union institutions. European Journal of Political Research, 43(3), 337–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bouwen, P. (2009). The European Commission. In D. Coen & J. Richardson (Eds.), Lobbying the European Union: Institutions, actors, and issues (pp. 19–38). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Broscheid, A., & Coen, D. (2003). Insider and outsider lobbying of the European Commission. An informational model of forum politics. European Union Politics, 4(2), 165–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chalmers, A. W. (2014). Getting a seat at the table: Capital, capture and expert groups in the European Union. West European Politics, 37(5), 976–992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Christiansen, T. (2006). The European Commission: The European executive between continuity and change. In J. Richardson (Ed.), European Union: Power and policy-making (pp. 96–117). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Coen, D. (1998). The European business interests and the nation state: Large-firm lobbying in the European Union and member states. Journal of Public Policy, 18(1), 75–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coen, D. (2009). Business lobbying in the European Union. In D. Coen & J. Richardson (Eds.), Lobbying the European Union: Institutions, actors, and issues (pp. 145–168). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Coen, D. (2011). The evolution of the large firm as a political actor in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 4(1), 91–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cohen, J., & Rogers, J. (1995). Secondary association and democratic governance. In J. Cohen, J. Rogers, & E. Olin Wright (Eds.), Associations and democracy. The real utopias project (pp. 7–98). London: Verso.Google Scholar
  15. Commission. (2002). Communication from the commission: Towards a reinforced culture of consultation and dialogueGeneral principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission. COM(2002) 704 final.Google Scholar
  16. Commission. (2010). Communication from the President to the Commission. Framework for commission expert groups: Horizontal rules and public register. C(2010) 7649 final.Google Scholar
  17. Commission. (2015). Report. Online public consultation on investment protection and investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP), Brussels, 13.01.2015, SWD (2015) 3 final.Google Scholar
  18. Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). (2014). The fire power of the financial lobby, Report, Brussels.Google Scholar
  19. Cowles, G. M. (1998). The changing architecture of big business. In J. Greenwood & M. Aspinwall (Eds.), Collective action in the European Union: Interests and the new politics of associability (pp. 108–125). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Culpepper, P. D. (2011). Quiet politics and business power. Corporate control in Europe and Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Dahl, R. A. (1989). Democracy and its critics. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Eising, R. (2007). The access of business interests to EU institutions: Toward Élite Pluralism? Journal of European Public Policy, 14(3), 384–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. European Parliament. (2008). EP resolution of 19 February 2008 on transparency in financial matters [2007/2141(INI)]. Retrieved from www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P6-TA-2008-0051&language=EN&ring=A6-2008-0010Google Scholar
  24. Finance Watch. (2013). EU citizens want to see a clear separation of banking activities, by C. Geiger, Retrieved November 14, 2013, from http://www.finance-watch.org/hot-topics/blog/796-eu-citizens-want-separation
  25. Gornitzka, Å., & Sverdrup, U. (2011). Access of experts: Information and EU decision-making. West European Politics, 34(1), 48–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gornitzka, Å., & Sverdrup, U. (2015). Societal inclusion in expert venues: Participation of interest group and business in the European Commission expert groups. Politics and Governance, 3(1), 151–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Greenwood, J. (2011). Interest representation in the European Union. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hartlapp, M., Metz, J., & Rauh, C. (2014). Which policy for Europe? Power and conflict inside the European Commission. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hirst, P. (1994). Associative democracy. New forms of economic and social governance. Amherst, MA: University of Massachussets Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kohler-Koch, B. (2007). The organization of interests and democracy in the European Union. In B. Kohler-Koch & B. Rittberger (Eds.), Debating the democratic legitimacy of the European Union (pp. 255–271). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  31. Kohler-Koch, B. (2013). Civil society and democracy in the EU. High expectations under empirical scrutiny. In B. Kohler-Koch & C. Quittkat (Eds.), De-Mystification of participatory democracy. EU governance and civil society (pp. 1–17). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kohler-Koch, B., & Finke, B. (2007). The institutional shaping of EU-Society relations: A contribution to democracy via participation? Journal of Civil Society, 3(3), 205–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mahoney, C. (2007). Lobbying success in the United States and the European Union. Journal of Public Policy, 27(1), 35–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mahoney, C., & Beckstrand, M. (2011). Following the money: European Union funding of civil society organizations. Journal of Common Market Studies, 49(6), 1139–1361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mazey, S., & Richardson, J. (2001). Institutionalizing promiscuity: Commission-interest group relations in the EU. In A. Stone Sweet, W. Sandholtz, & N. Fligstein (Eds.), The institutionalization of Europe (pp. 71–93). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Offe, C., & Wiesenthal, H. (1980). Two logics of collective action: Theoretical notes on social class and organizational form. Political Power and Social Theory, 1, 67–115.Google Scholar
  37. Olson, M. (1965). The logic of collective action: Public goods and the theory of groups. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Quittkat, C. (2013). New instruments serving democracy. Do on-line consultations benefit civil society? In B. Kohler-Koch & C. Quittkat (Eds.), De-Mystification of participatory democracy: EU governance and civil society (pp. 85–113). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Quittkat, C., & Kohler-Koch, B. (2013). Involving civil society in EU governance. The consultation regime of the European Commission. In B. Kohler-Koch & C. Quittkat (Eds.), De-Mystification of participatory democracy. EU governance and civil society (pp. 41–61). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Saurugger, S. (2002). L’expertise: un mode de participation des groups d’intérêt au processus décisionnel communautaire. Revue française de science politique, 52, 375–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Saurugger, S. (2008). Interest groups and democracy in the European Union. West European Politics, 31(6), 1274–1291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Streeck, W., & Schmitter, P. (1991). From national corporatism to transnational pluralism: Organized interests in the single European Market. Politics and Society, 19, 133–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. van Apeldoorn, B. (2002). Transnational capitalism and the struggle over European Integration. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. van Schendelen, R. (2010). More Machiavelli in Brussels. The art of lobbying in the EU. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Young, K. (2013). Financial industry groups’ adaptation to the post-crisis regulatory environment: Changing approaches to the policy cycle. Regulation and Governance, 7, 460–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Montalbano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceLUISSRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations