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How and why do pressure groups target the EU?

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Introduction

How and why do pressure groups target the EU? (20) The definition of a pressure group is an organized collection of people who seek to influence political decisions and policy, without seeking election to public office. To be successful in their aims, a pressure group must lobby those in power, and since, nowadays, many of the key decisions regarding certain policy areas are made in Brussels by the EU, pressure groups cannot ignore the EU. Since the EU operates on a pluralist basis, in which a variety of demands and interests are heard, and since pressure groups are a component of a pluralist democracy, the role of pressure groups is important within the EU. Pressure groups may target and lobby several different institutions within the EU to achieve their aims. For example, the most popular target of pressure groups is the Commission. The Commission has become more accessible and receptive to lobbyists, mainly due to the expansion of their responsibilities. It has a monopoly on the initiative in Community decision-making: since it has the power to draft initiatives, it makes it ideally suited as an arena for interest representation. ...read more.

Middle

at the EU level - national officials are often much more open to the influences of pressure groups than the officials in EU. Pressure groups can also occasionally lobby the European Court of Justice in certain cases where the ramifications of a judgement could affect the EU as a whole. The controversial cases bought to ECJ often attract considerable pressure group support (this is mostly common for civil liberties pressure groups). Examples of pressure groups and their effect on the EU in terms of the European Court of Justice include the recent ruling on rights of carers of disabled people. Since the 1986 Single European Act, the momentum towards closer integration, especially in the economic and monetary union, has significantly increased. Treaties such as the Single European Act and Maastricht served to deepen and widen the responsibilities of the EU. The completion of the single market, the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty and subsequent treaties, the adoption of the Social Chapter, the launch of the single currency, the development of a constitutional treaty (now the Lisbon Treaty) ...read more.

Conclusion

One such problem is that of transparency and the influence of larger pressure groups. While some small pressure groups lobby the EU for their cause, they are often pushed out of the scene by larger pressure groups with more finance and influence, and therefore more power. This is especially true of pressure groups campaigning for the environment: as said by Yiorgos Vassalos of the Corporate Europe Observatory, while many environmental pressure groups are campaigning for the reduction of emissions, they often have much less influence than the car industry, who oppose the new legislation. In conclusion, it can be seen that pressure groups do play a very significant role in the initiating stages of policy-making. Pressure groups are extremely important and involved at every stage of the EU, most especially at the initial stage of formulating policy. The increase in pressure group representation in the EU indicates the growth in importance that pressure groups have attached to Europe. The pace of development towards greater integration has intensified and so activists have increasingly understood the importance of the EU in decision-making affecting their organisations. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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