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Information Supply and Interest Groups' Success in the European Parliament

Laura Andreea Baroni

The European Parliament (EP) has become an important venue for interest groups seeking to influence EU policy. But how successful are these groups in achieving their aims in the EP, and what factors account for variation in their success levels? This paper examines the effect of information supply and demand on interest groups' ability to influence the EP's position, based on a new dataset on the preferences of interest groups with regard to 30 legislative proposals (comprising 56 conflictive issues) introduced by the European Commission between 2008 and 2010. Data on actors' positions, information supply and information demand was gathered through interviews with EP rapporteurs and their staff. The analysis suggests that, all else being equal, the rapporteur's draft legislative report and the report adopted by the responsible EP committee at first reading reflect the preferences of groups that provide more policy-relevant information to the EP. The findings are relevant to the literature on EP decision-making, as well as the broader debate on interest groups' contribution to the quality of EU policy-making.

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