Pressure and expertise : explaining the information supply of interest groups in EU legislative lobbying
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Journal of common market studies. - Oxford
, p. 599-616
University of Antwerp
EU politics has long been portrayed as an elite affair in which technocratic deliberation prevails. As a consequence, information supply by interest groups has typically been viewed as part of an expertise-based exchange with policy-makers. Less attention has been devoted to whether the supply of information is also used to exert political pressure. In addition to expertise-based exchanges between interest groups and policy-makers, can we identify the prevalence of information supply that aims to put pressure on EU policy-makers? And under what conditions are different modes of information supply likely to occur? My analysis relies on interviews with 143 lobbyists who were active on a set of 78 legislative proposals submitted by the European Commission between 2008 and 2010. The results demonstrate that expertise-based exchanges are dominant in interactions with civil servants, while political information is predominantly communicated to political officials and often the key substance in outside lobbying tactics.