Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12 Interest Groups and the European Union"— Presentation transcript:
1 Chapter 12 Interest Groups and the European Union Chapter by Rainer Eising & Sonia LehringerCini & Pérez-Solórzano BorragánEuropean Union Politics, 3rd edition
2 Lecture Plan Institutional setting EU democracy and civil society Chapter 12Slide 2Lecture PlanInstitutional settingEU democracy and civil societyRegulationEuropean and national interest groupsEuropeanization of domestic interests
3 Institutional Setting (1) Chapter 12Slide 3Institutional Setting (1)Key features of interest groups in the EUEU as opportunity structureFinancially and structurally supported by EUActively included in policy making process
4 Institutional Setting (2) Chapter 12Slide 4Institutional Setting (2)Key characteristics of the EU(1) EU is highly dynamic system(2) Horizontal and vertical differentiation(3) Consensus building(4) Perceived legitimacy deficit(1)-(4) influences interest group behaviour(1) EU as highly dynamicShape of EU impacts number & type of interest groupsGroups develop with EU political agenda
5 Institutional Setting (3) Chapter 12Slide 5Institutional Setting (3)(2) Horizontal and vertical differentiationRole varies across pillars, institutions & policyPillar 1: Relatively good access to EU institutionsPillars 2 & 3: Intergovernmental → highly restrictedCommission: most important institution; contact with DGsEP: increasingly important; less important than Commission & Council; responsive to “diffuse” interestsEU Council: not usually lobbied directlyEuropean Council: little contact with interest groupsECJ: potentially useful but lengthy & costly processEuropean Economic and Social Committee (EESC): brings organised interests into policy; minor role
6 Institutional Setting (4) Chapter 12Slide 6Institutional Setting (4)(2) Horizontal and vertical differentiationVariation through multi-level systemDifferent actors for different geographical territoriesMultiple points of accessCoordination of action across levels (European, national, regional, local)(3) Consensus buildingCommon practice due to unpredictable policy agenda & complex political system(4) Perceived legitimacy deficit
7 Democracy and Civil Society Chapter 12Slide 7Democracy and Civil SocietyAffect upon EU’s democratic deficitInterest groups boost input & output legitimacyEU uses external actors to increase efficiency of policyEU increases functional representation through engagement with citizens’ interestsEU can monitor social change through interests groups
8 Regulation of Interest Groups (1) Chapter 12Slide 8Regulation of Interest Groups (1)To regulate or not to regulate?CommissionPreferred self-regulation; now promotes regulationSought to increase democracy and legitimacy through transparent and inclusive use of interest groupsEstablished voluntary registerIncludes code of conductFor review in 2009 (possible upgrade to compulsory)
9 Regulation of Interest Groups (2) Chapter 12Slide 9Regulation of Interest Groups (2)European ParliamentConcern re. integrity of MEPsEstablished register for interest groupsOn signature of code of conduct, access pass receivedNB In favour of single, compulsory register for lobbyistsMEPs record paid activities & donations receivedNB Reservations re. democratic credentials of interest groups (sectoral representation)
10 Regulation of Interest Groups (3) Chapter 12Slide 10Regulation of Interest Groups (3)Proposed changesCT (2004)“The Democratic Life of the Union”“open, transparent, regular dialogue”Towards participative democracyCitizens’ initiativesTreaty of Lisbon“Provision on Democratic Principles”Same features as CT (above)
11 European & National Interest Groups Chapter 12Slide 11“Eurogroups”National interest groupsComposed of national associationsProvide expertise and seek to persuade EU institutionsDistribute info on EU activitiesFewer functions, fewer resourcesMore visible at EU levelIntermediaries between national and EuropeanOften internal disaggreementComposed of individualsApproach national members of EU institutions & national institutionsLess visible at EU levelInvolved when EU policy implemented at domestic level
12 Business Interests Key features Chapter 12Slide 12Business InterestsKey features80% of groups for producers’/employers’ interestsSensitive to growth of European agendae.g. Business Europe (formerly UNICE) est. 1958Social partners in social dialogue from mid-1980sLarge firms engage independently & directly→ “elite pluralism”Effectiveness varies over time and issueWhy dominance of business interest groups?
13 Diffuse Interests Key features Chapter 12Slide 13Diffuse InterestsKey featurese.g. Social, human rights, religious, etc.Large groups, broad scope, no clear membership→ organisational problemsDeveloped with EU agendae.g. European Environmental Bureau (EEB) est. 1974Largest growth rate in 1990sCommission and EP provide financial supporte.g. Commission’s Social PlatformIncrease legitimacy credentialsTo what extent are these groups independent?
14 Europeanization of National Interests Chapter 12Slide 14Europeanization of National InterestsIncreased importance of EU policy → Consequences for national interest groupsReassessment of group interestsDevelopment of a European perspectiveIntra- and inter-organisational changesPossibly enhance/weaken domestic tiesOrganisation and issue-specific impacts
15 Chapter 12Slide 15Lecture ReviewOrganisation of interest groups reflects EU shape and agendaEU interest groups distinct from nationalEuropeanizationDifferences between business & diffuseRole to promote of democracy & legitimacy?