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Non-EU interest groups in Brussels: explaining the lobbying success of foreign interest groups in EU energy policy

Popovic, Ivana (2019) Non-EU interest groups in Brussels: explaining the lobbying success of foreign interest groups in EU energy policy. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004211


Although the number of non-EU interest groups seeking to exert political influence in Brussels has been rising, research examining factors behind their success is scarce. This thesis contributes towards filling this gap by examining the success of foreign groups in the energy policy domain. Specifically, it examines how the European Commission’s initial preferences on both - the policies under consideration as well as the involved non-EU interest groups - affect the groups’ prospects of lobbying successfully. Employing process-tracing and cross-case comparison, the thesis explores four cases of Commission proposals covering the main aspects of the EU energy policy: competitiveness, sustainability and security. The extant literature on lobbying as information exchange assumes that the Commission has strong preferences regarding outcomes, but not on policy measures generating the desired outcomes. Interest groups, in return, shape a Commission’s proposal by providing expertise on which policies will lead towards the outcomes. The thesis complements this literature by arguing that in some cases, decision-makers have strong preferences concerning both - the outcomes and means necessary to achieve them - thus making interests groups’ attempts to alter their positions less likely to succeed. However, in the absence of the Commission holding strong views on policies, there is no guarantee that an interest group will be successful. Instead, a group’s success is affected by its status within the Commission. Drawing on research on the insider/outsider status of lobbyists, the thesis finds evidence that insiders are more likely to lobby successfully than outsiders. It contributes to this strand of literature by introducing an additional criterion underpinning the insider/outsider distinction, which concern specifically non-EU interest groups. Thus, the research suggests that a foreign interest group’s prospect of lobbying successfully is affected by the Commission’s positions on policies and involved lobbyists: how strong its initial view on issues under consideration is, as well as whether it sees interest groups as “insiders” or “outsiders”.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2019 Ivana Popovic
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Thatcher, Mark

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