• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

European Union Lobbying.

Extracts from this document...


EUROPEAN UNION LOBBYING Introduction Today we are going to look very superficially at lobbying the European Union institutions. We'll begin with a quick run through the basic policy making structures of the EU (but it is only very much an introduction; if you want more detailed information on any of the topics raised there are several useful textbooks in the Library) and then in the second half I'll discuss how these processes impact upon the practice of public affairs and how lobbyists are regulated in the EU. To begin with an idea about the scale of lobbying that goes on in the EU institutions - in 1992 the European Commission estimated that there were perhaps 10,000 people representing 3,000 groups who were involved in lobbying the Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers. The European Parliament In its early days, the European Parliament was made up of appointed Members, but it has been entirely directly elected since 1979. The Parliament holds its full plenary sessions in Strasbourg (for one week a month), meetings of its committees take place in Brussels (over two weeks a month), and its administrative departments are based in Luxembourg. The 626 MEPs are generally elected as party politicians, although a few independents will always manage to get elected. However, once elected the MEP will usually join a particular political grouping within the Parliament. So, for instance, Labour MEPs from the UK are members of the European Parliament's Socialist Group. Other major grouping include the Greens, the European People's Party, and the Liberal and Democratic Reformists. These broad coalitions allow like-minded MEPs from across all EU nations to coalesce on policy issues. They are less cohesive and disciplined than parties in national parliaments, but do nevertheless allow some co-ordination to take place. (Do also keep in mind that under the EU's plans for enlargement which we will deal with in more detail later, the size of the Parliament will increase as new nations join the Union; however, it is the intention ...read more.


The European Council provides a forum in which not only the internal development of the Union can be discussed but also the EU's relationship with external bodies. So the meetings will allow the EU to devise a common negotiating position when dealing collectively with, for instance, the United States or Japan, the United Nations or World Trade Organisation. While the European Council is in a sense the place where the EU's most senior politicians arrive at decisions, if these require European legislation it is unable to simply insist that the policies be adopted and implemented immediately because any necessary legislation must go through the normal process which we will consider next week. However, the heads of government are obviously able to make final political decisions and implement those unilaterally if they do not require legislative backing. One academic has concluded that, "The record of the European Council is mixed. On the one hand there have been failures, or at least the non-fulfilment of hopes. This was particularly true in the period from about 1980 to 1988: summits became rather routinised and immersed in detail; too much time was devoted to policy detail rather than to mapping out the future; and disputes about distributional issues were seemingly always on the agenda. On the other hand there have been positive achievements: understandings between national leaders have been furthered; important goals have been identified/given an impetus/brought to a conclusion (such as on enlargements, the internal market, the social dimension, institutional reform, and EMU); and agreements have been worked out on matters that were either unsuitable for, or could not be resolved by, the Council of Ministers." The EU legislative process and lobbying Broadly speaking, formal proposals for EU legislation are initially made by the European Commission (although some proposals may have started out as recommendations to the Commission by the Parliament). So the Commission issues a proposal which is subject to consultation by the Parliament and the Council of Ministers. ...read more.


Ford's report quite consciously avoided providing any rigid definition of who constituted a lobbyist - rather anyone who had occasion to visit the Parliament building on a regular basis would be covered by his register. The idea here was that the less complex was the scheme suggested, the more chance it would have of being accepted. However after the report was drafted (on behalf of the Committee on Rules of Procedure), it was submitted to a number of other standing Committees for their consideration. One of these - the Committee on Social Affairs and Employment - decided that the report should include provisions relating to the acceptance by MEPs of financial assistance from outside groups. Once these two issues became linked - lobbying and the regulation of members' interests - the Ford report was in serious trouble. In January 1996 the Parliament debated Ford's report and referred it back to the CRP committee for revision. Finally in July 1996, a compromise of sorts was reached so that MEPs now have to declare their outside interests while lobbyists would be registered by the Parliament in return for obtaining a pass provided that they signed a code of conduct. This scheme came into force in June 1999. The code of conduct which lobbyists must adhere to is fairly basic. In fact, though, the code does not define lobbying. It simply states that the register and code will apply to all those who are issued passes to the European Parliament on the basis that they "wish to enter Parliament's premises frequently with a view to supplying information to Members within the framework of their parliamentary mandate in their own interests or those of third parties". Among its provisions are that lobbyists shall: * "state the interest or interests they represent in contact with Members of Parliament, their staff or officials of Parliament; * refrain from any action designed to obtain information dishonestly; * not claim any formal relationship with Parliament in any dealings with third parties; * not circulate for a profit to third parties copies of documents obtained from Parliament". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The European Union and UK Businesses

    3 star(s)

    pounds, however there is not just the implications of costs, as there is also the reputation that could be damaged by the court case. Tesco to ensure that they do not fall foul of the social policy make sure that they implement the highest standards of employee satisfaction; this means

  2. An Analysis of the Powers of the European Parliament.

    EP and problems arise when national groups have to act in specific domestic instructions and each national group tends to have it own priorities and loyalties. Organisation and operation. The European Parliament is an autonomous body within the institutional framework of the European Union, it determines its internal organization and

  1. How important is the European Parliament?

    is unelected, and technically a member of the civil service of the EU. In the UK government, the elected body of the House of Commons is the most recognisable to the public. We know, as a country, that Gordon Brown is our elected representative to the world.

  2. Critically discuss how global economic trend may impact upon the future policies of the ...

    In leisure aspect, EU citizens can travel easier than before, since no visa is required. The travel barriers within member states have weakened, thus encouraging the domestic travel in EU basis. Furthermore, those wealthier western citizens may travel more often to the Eastern nations, starting up businesses over there, buying second home and assisting Eastern States to achieve economic growth.

  1. The Institution of the European Union and Theories.

    The treaties also provide better consumer protection, e.g. all toys must meet European safety standards and students have the ability to learn in any of the member states, the British government is encouraging this as it wants its students to be experienced.

  2. Free essay

    Labour and Conservative parties policies on the EU have become increasingly similar. Discuss. discuss

    let the EU control its economy including interest rates, and Ireland with help from the EU began to grow at a vast rate. However the problem with all growing economies is the rise in inflation- when there is too much money chasing too few good- and Ireland was no exception

  1. Free essay

    Finnish Party System

    The role of the district organizations is to join together the local organizations and the central leadership of the party. Above the districts there are the central party organs, the highest of which is the party convention. The conventions of the National Coalition and Center Party meet every two years while the SDP convention meets every three years.

  2. Outline the Key Elements and Critically Assess the Draft Reform Treaty (Constitutional Treaty) of ...

    unanimity to qualified majority voting and the creation of the long-term Presidency of the European Council. In countries where the Treaty could be ratified by the parliament the consensus was to vote in favour. Government officials already having agreed to it in principle at a ceremony in Rome on 29 October 2004.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work