• Anna Yvonne Fast
4. term, European Studies, Master (Master Programme)
Lobbying is the most important tool when it comes to influence the policy-making in the political system of the EU. In Brussels the competition for decision-makers at the EU institutions attention is solid with powerful counterparts competing for the agenda to make their view heard. The EU has a pluralistic structure in order to maintain democracy amongst the interest group, but this does not appear to function as intended and strong corporatist elements are evident. The interests are many, but the key is to have the same interests as the institutions with most competences, since this gives advantages in regards to influence the outcomes of the policies. To be a powerful and resourceful with specific knowledge is therefore of significant advantage, since the EU institutions are dependent on external sources in the policy process. This makes lobbying a complex activity in the EU’s playing field and the strong representation of interests adds to the complexity. To achieve a complete victory requires that one wins in all the three arenas i.e. “the EU, which has to allow the desired outcome; the stakeholders, which have to deliver support; and the organization at home, which must provide backing” (Schendelen 2013:119). But the chances for achieving all three are not high due to the exceptionally solid and powerful competition. The foremost reasons for the competition are the cross-pressure on the officials have to work under and that there is a lack of trust amongst the stakeholders, at the same time as the own organisation is often divided. The stakeholders have influence on the policy-making, even if a win in all three arenas is not achieved, which the outcomes of the policies proves, which are included.
How it works in reality, is analysed in this thesis where a qualitative research method has been used where stakeholders within animal welfare, environment, cooperatives, agriculture and the cities are interviewed. In order to achieve knowledge about the other side of the table, interviews were also made with decision-makers and people who have influence on these at the institutions. The interviews were semi-structured enabling an increased insight in the professional experiences of the lobbying arena in Brussels and the obstacles the pluralistic arena consists. The people who took part in the research cannot be thanked enough. It was their generosity that made this thesis possible.
Pluralism and corporatism were chosen as theories together with interest representation. The interest representation was necessary to create an understanding for what the lobbying arena in Brussels contained. The definition of pluralism and corporatism in this context is discussed in regards to the interest representation. The EU institutions competences are also included due to its importance in regards to the stakeholders influence and lobbying approach where the procedures is of importance to whom to influence in order to achieve the desired final outcome.
Publication date31 May 2016
Number of pages68
ID: 234436933