Paper is for European Business for the understanding of European integration and its contribution in study of lobbying

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                According to Klüver (2013), Lobbying is considered as the act of persuading others through influencing their actions, policies ad decisions. The European integration is quite a wider and a deeper concept which helps in the discussion of European union. Lobbying has become increasingly prominent issue in the European union with regards to it political and institutional debate over the span of 20 years in comparison to Brussels and Washington DC (Aspinwall and Greenwood 2013). One of the principal reasons for this phenomenon is the growth in the role of EU as a policymaker. The institutions of European Union have expanded their regulatory competence in the areas of single market, consumer protection, environmental law, and policy proposals that had become complex. They had raised their reliability on technical expertise thereby to draft legislation to be provided by outside groups among the others (Chalmers 2013).

                In this particular essay, the negative impacts of lobbying in European union has been analysed. The introductory part is followed by the section of analysis. In that particular section, the three direct impacts of lobbying in EU, namely, direct impact, indirect impact and economic impact would be analysed along with facts and statements. This analysis would be quite helpful in stating the viewpoint of the essay, thereby making the status thesis statement strong. The analysis of the essay would be followed by a conclusion of the findings and summary.


In illumination of an unparalleled development of lobbying in Brussels and the multifaceted nature of European public policy proceedings, one is faced with imperative issues of amendable lobbyists and developing intelligibility. In western politics, lobbying has always been a familiar sight, if not something that can be deemed as a welcome note in the region. The European policy-makers identify that both public and private interests have justifiable and significant responsibility to play in the policy progression. The European region witnesses an European public process where around 15,000 officials representing Commission and European Parliamentary officials appear before some 20,000 lobbyists on a regular basis (Richardson and Mazey 2015). This fact is not surprising that an important dependency exists between the lobbyists and the policy makers that are based on expertise, rigid needs, information and character has materialized. This is the reason the ways are being dignified and developed the codes of conduct of EU lobbying where exchange of information are not damaged.

                It is during the 1990s, the activity of EU interest group exploded resulting from measured transfer of narrow functions from the member states to the EU establishment along with the synchronized and the simultaneous preface of competent majority voting on the issues pertaining in the Single Market (Klüver, Braun and Beyers 2015). Keeping in contrast with the increasing functional supply, institutional stipulation for EU interest group movement was assisted by the candidness of the European commission and the Parliament of Europe. The EU is considered to be one of the super national organization that is being subjugated by the council of national governments and the bureaucracy of the Commission which weakens the European parliament as the general parliament (Wallace, Pollack and Young 2015). Democracy has always posed challenge for the European Union. There has long being a debate on the issue of democratic deficit which has still not been determined.

                The relationship that exists between the European institutions and the interest groups have been stated as ‘clientela’, where the Commission picks a few certain groups that they felt comfortable with as the fitting representatives of communal interests (Dür, Bernhagen and Marshall 2015). The lobbying activities of the interest groups have been witnessed as disparaging to the independent implementation of the total EU.  However, Van Schendelen squabbles on the fact that lobbying can be viewed from another perception. Schendelen suggests that there are substitutes for imminent trend ‘lobbying’, incorporated perspective, perception of effective EU decision-making and citizen’s welfare (Binderkrantz and Rasmussen 2015).

                Political systems have always been on the search of authenticity from their subjects’ for undertaking full assortment of government functions. Legitimacy is given birth by two sources, inputs (capability of participating in political decision-making) and efficiency (results). EU’s limited nature can be stated through a political regime that can partially be elucidated through lack of input authenticity (Berkhout et al. 2015).  According to Schmidt (2013), due to this lack, the EU is a perfect setting for interest groups that consist of positivity. Much needed resources are brought in to affect the policy-making, execution and investigation in things on how the European integration can develop, assisting the EU to attain more proficiencies in policies by bringing in demands to the doorsteps of members and helping them in the accepted detection with the European Union.  So, it can be concluded, that interest groups not only facilitate in policy making but also formulate EU nearer to the citizens (Bache et al. 2014). In the case of the EU, there are four main concerns with regard to the transparency and accountability of lobbying practices: (1) estimates of the number of interest groups that lobby the EU institutions; (2) information on the typology of EU interest groups; (3) information on lobbying expenditure; and (4) conflicts of interest.

According to Rasmussen and Carroll  (2014) a widely used definition, conflicts of interest are 'a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest'. With regard to lobbying practices, the primary concern is what is referred to as 'revolving doors' – the practice of professionals moving from political or administrative posts to roles in the private sector, or vice-versa. Revolving doors are generally seen as an issue, either because of concerns with regards to exploitation of former civil servants' insider knowledge by their new private- sector employers thereby gaining privileged access. it had influenced the European Union institutions. Public officials with a past in the private sector could be improperly influenced when carrying out their duties, thus compromising the integrity of public decisions.  Civil society under the name of Alter-EU had been framed that aims at analysing the situation of lobbying. It has repeatedly denounced the rules of tax in place based on the European union level. This would help them to tackle the revolving door phenomenon (Klüver 2013). According to Alter-EU, as many as 50% of the staff who work at the biggest lobby firms in Brussels have a background in one of the EU institutions. The issue based on lobbying doors has been addressed in the code of conduct of the European union’s institutions. The first code of conduct (1999) of the Commission introduced an obligation for Commissioners to declare their financial interests and a one-year 'cooling-off' notification period whenever a Commissioner left public office (Woll 2013). This code was amended in 2004 and again in 2011, following an EP study underlining the shortcomings of the existing rules. In its latest version, the code of conduct prohibits (for a period of 18 months) Commissioners who leave office from lobbying on the same issues as covered by their previous EU portfolio. The EP has its own code of conduct banning former Members from using their life-long pass to access the EP for lobbying purposes. Finally, the Staff Regulations for officials and other staff in all the EU institutions include a 12-month cooling-off period for senior officials on lobbying jobs, a ban on lobbying activities during sabbatical periods (introduced in 2013), and a specific procedure for screening new staff for potential conflicts of interest (Bernhagen 2014).

The negative impacts of lobbying could be illustrated under the broad classification of these three heads, as follows:

Direct Impact

It is considered quite difficult to provide the general estimates of the financial impacts of the shortcomings of the regulation of lobbying in European union practices. It can be stated that the economic aspect of lobbying on eu can be denoted as direct and indirect consequences, due to the result of sub optimal policy making. Direct impact of the lobbying on the European Union had been seen quite noticeably on the corruption. It has been stated by the commission of Europe that the economy had t spent an amount of 120 billion a year (Callanan and Tatham 2014). He anti corruption report includes the concept of illegal lobbying as one of the prime reasons for the prevalence of corruption in the economy. It stresses on the practise of transparent lobbying that would help in decreasing the likelihood of corruption in European Union. The direct practices in the economy, there would be a comparative reduction for conflicts that have risen due to the presence of lobbying (Chalmers 2013). Related to this, one should consider the increased efforts put by the EU institutions to tackle forms of corruption and, on a more general level, to boost transparency of decision-making.

Indirect Impact

The indirect impact of lobbying has no direct consideration with the European Union budget. In the long term, the effects of lobbying would negatively affect the European public finances. It could be stated that with the lack of transparency in the conditions of lobbying in the economy, there might have been an emergence about interest niche. This would hamper the efficiency in growth and productivity of the nation. Based on a study in the year 2016, the representation rate of the European professional associations was the highest (43% access rate, 38% for the EP and 11% for the Council) whereas the least representation were made from the national associations (Lelieveldt and Princen 2015). Based on another study o the state and group activities of the European Union, it has been noted that 72% of the seats of the European commission’s consultative committee has been able to represent the interests of the business. Integrity Watch reports that almost all companies that had more than 10 high-level meetings with the Commission from January to June 2015 had declared at least €900 000 per year in lobbying expenditure (Chalmers 2013). This prompts accusations of unbalanced representation: 75% Vs 25% in favour of business (with the financial markets and the digital economy considered the most unbalanced portfolios, where respectively, 90% and 89% of meetings were with business representatives).

Economic Impact

The benefits with relation to the economy have been able to note a transparent regulation of lobbying activities. The activities have been acknowledged in the economy. The case in point is open data. It has been estimated by the commission that the use of full data in the open format among the 23 European Union member states of the government could lower the administrative costs in the economy by 15% to 20% (Smith et al. 2015). According to the study based on the transparency international in the year 2014, it has been seen that the impact of the government had been measured in the economy on the basis o four variables. These variables were, participation, co production, transparency and economy. There was a graded score of 0 to 100 point scale. The positive impact of the economy with the introduction of open government had been graded at 54.2 points (Callanan and Tatham 2014).

A sustained effort has been seen with regards to the regulation that has been made at the European Union level. These regulations have been present to decrease the costs and increase the benefits. These regulations are considered as an ongoing task, which are considered by the commission in order to raise the transparency of lobbying about the tasks being implemented currently. In order to overcome the negative aspects of lobbying in the economy, new rules and regulations were taken into considerations along with the encouragement provided to the lobbyists to register themselves. A study of 2014 states that it has been found, treaty on the functioning of the European Union would be an adequate legal base for making the tr a mandatory register, although this would require unanimity within the council. Directive 2014/95/EU was also approved in 2014 (Wallace, Pollack and Young 2015). This concerns the disclosure of non- financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups (500 employees or more), notably on policies, and anti-corruption and bribery issues. The directive, that would become operational in this current year 2017, is expected to apply to some 6,000 organisations across the European Union.

According to the transparency register being revised in the year 2014, the European ombudsman that had been used for further reformations of the registration and for greater transparency presented an official statement. She called on the council to participate in the tr and encouraged the commission to adopt stronger incentives to convince lobbyists to register. She also called on the commission to improve the monitoring and comparability of data in the register (to avoid transparency regulation -related cases of mismanagement).

Within the boundaries of the European Parliament, a timetable has been set thereby preparing the negotiations needed for further reforms to be undertaken by the transparency regulators that had been drafted by the European Parliament committee based on the constitutional affairs. Earlier a roadmap had been released by the parliament, which leads to the adoption transparency regulation mandatory. Six council members had submitted a non paper to the prepatory stating “working party on information” (Aspinwall and Greenwood 2013). The paper had been influential in enhancing the transparency in the European Union, which consists of the practical proposals to be approached with the lobbyists. It would grant them the ability to register themselves. One-proposal concerns initial steps towards a council register on lobbying. The document states that 'it is essential that all co-legislators apply the same standards for transparency, which implies that the council joins the transparency register used by the commission and the European Parliament' (Richardson and Mazey 2015).


                 In western politics, lobbying has always been a familiar sight, if not something that can be deemed as a welcome note in the region. The European policy-makers identify that both public and private interests have justifiable and significant responsibility to play in the policy progression. In the case of the EU, there are four main concerns with regard to the transparency and accountability of lobbying practices, which could be denoted as estimates of the number of interest groups that lobby the EU institutions, information on the typology of EU interest groups, information on lobbying expenditure and conflicts of interest. Depending upon the political and economical impacts of lobbying on the European Union, it could be stated that lobbying has both direct and indirect impacts on the economy along with the economical impacts taken into considerations. A sustained effort has been seen about the regulation that has been made at the European Union level. In order to overcome the negative aspects of lobbying in the economy, new rules and regulations were taken into considerations along with the encouragement provided to the lobbyists to register themselves.

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