Interest Groups and Lobbyists in the European Political Space: The Permanent Eurocrats
Actors involved in lobbying, along with many observers and commentators, basically share a common vision of the ‘European lobbying system.’ Despite their different status (actors, observers, activists, experts, volunteers or employees) and at times conflicting positions on the question of transparency and the regulation of lobbying (Michel, 2012), all parties agree that the system is defined, first and foremost, by the relationships that each European institution establishes with various interest groups based on a ‘system of exchange.’ While the institutions, and especially the Commission, need information, expertise and legitimacy provided by interest groups, in exchange they must provide political and financial support to interest organizations they associate with in the development and implementation of public policies. Designated by political scientists as ‘elite pluralism,’ this system is described as being segmented into as many sectors as the European Union has public policies, each of which contains a plurality of actors defending their interests. Each segment has access points and intervention methods developed by interest representatives (Eising, 2007; Coen and Richardson, 2009b).
KeywordsInterest Group European Institution Consult Firm Interest Organization Interest Representation
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