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Change and Persistence in EU Business Lobbying

Beate Kohler-Koch

Conventional wisdom has it that business lobbying is most effective when it is based on close collaboration with desk officers in charge of writing the detailed policy proposal. This view has been most pronounced among business associations operating in cooperative systems such as the German one but has been also prominent among EU business associations. This preference is well documented in our survey study which we did ten years ago. Now, interviews in the German and EU business world indicate a change. The perception is that policy-making both at the national and at the EU level has become more and more politicized and, consequently, calls for an adjustment in lobbying strategies.The paper will present comparative data based on our survey of business associations and large firms in France, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain and at the EU level. It will analyse the relevance of institutional, organizational and policy-field variables for explaining variations in the assessments of respondents. Further, interviews will provide a deeper understanding of what the relevant actors mean by 'politisation' and what they consider to be relevant causes.

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