The EU Business Lobby by sammyc2007


									The EU Business Lobby

       Dr David Coen
  University College London
   School of Public Policy
• Has a EU business-government relationship
• If so what are implications for firms’
  preferences for direct and collective
  business-government arrangements.
• How firms have developed a government
  affairs function - best practice in Brussels.
• What are the implications European Public
The Firms’ Political Preferences
                        Allocation of Company Resources
                                  Figure 1.
o 10
c 5
         N.Ass N.Civil M.P. Govt Region E.Fed. UNICE E.C. E.M.P. EP   Lobby Other
                            Govt.ent   FfffFed
                                      Political options
                            ral        Ass
                                1994                    1984
 Evolution of Business Interests
• Pre-SEA 1953-1985 - Corportatist attempt.

• SEA - 1985-1992 - Open Pluralist system.

• Single Market - 1992-2000- Elite pluralism
  - Forums and Alliance politics.
   SEA - Lobbying Boom Time

• 200 firms open offices - 1000 lobbyists

• Economic boundaries change.
• Business Issues change - 300 Directives
   1990s Competitive Lobbying
• Proactive - learned from US firms.-
  Professional Brussels Offices.
• Direct lobbying of Commission and EP. -
  focused on decision makers - establish
  relationships over time
• Focused use of Federations - share policy
  leads and information.
• Lobbying- faster and effective. New
  political identities for firms.
     Environment created:
For Firms ------ For Commission
• Credibility.           • Quick and Reliable
• Wider Constituency -
  Trust.                 • Constituency.

• European Identity.     • Implementers

• Goodwill               • Mediators
 New EU Government-Business
  Relationship and Integration.
• Elite pluralism - Forum politics - Alliances.

• EC can pull in firms. - Band wagon effect.-
  Invite leaders to participate and rivals will
  restructure lobbying to also participate.

• Europeanise the domestic public policy
  system? Some but gradual - not SMEs.
     National Changes in Brussels
• Britain: MNs arrived early/US lobby experience.     -
  Global perspective - UK “Company State” Model with
  DTI/Agencies - Similar skills in Brussels, but note
  increasing use of reformed European Federations.
  France: Slow to arrive in Brussels. QMV, Convergence
  criteria, Europeanisation of activity and Liberalisation
  changed focus. - learned to be proactive. But still a
  domestic focus 1st and EU 2nd - the Eurostar problem!!
• Germany: Some of biggest policy players in Brussels.
  Corporatism under pressure but strong (biggest threat is
  capital market) - Competitive forces have driven firms to
  Brussels. Different perspective on how institutions should
  develop - ie favour increasing use of EU Competition law.
• National differences will continue - but
  some issues will be European/Globalized.
• More strategic in alliances and new
  institutional allegiances - primary focuses.
• But firms are still risk adverse and slow to
  change political behaviour. Hence, duality
  of approach.
• In times of recession will reduce political
  affairs and look to trusted/low cost routes.

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