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Interest Representation in the EU


Admission requirements

Minimaal BSA (40 ects).


The course will introduce students with the world of lobbying and interest-representation in the EU, both in terms of knowledge of the scientific literature and the practise of lobbying and public-affairs management. During the course, students are required to give their opinion on questions related to interest-representation and the democratic-deficit debate. At the end of the course, the students will be able to give their professional advice on public-affairs matters. Attention will be given to identifying policy-making processes, key stakeholders and policy-documents.

Course objectives

This course aims to offer students insights on lobbying and interest-representation in the EU. It will focus on the following issues:

  • Decision-making processes, EU policy-making and the vice-versa effect on organisations such as businesses, ngo’s and EU associations;

  • Public-Affairs management. Students will have to write their own lobbying-strategy.


Workgroup on Friday from 15.15-17.00. Can be subject to change (see the website for this).

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

The final grade will be based on four assignments. After the first part of the course, students will have to do a test on the literature. In the second part of the course, students will write a position paper on a topic by choice, give an oral presentation on the lobbying strategy and write a strategy-document for their lobby-organisation.


The required literature will be provided through blackboard.

Reading list

  • Beyers, J., R. Eising and W. Maloney (2008) ‘Researching Interest Group Politics in Europe and Elsewhere: Much We Study, Little We Know?’, West European Politics, Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 1103-28.

  • Bouwen, P. (2002), ‘Corporate lobbying in the European Union: the logic of access’, Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 9, No.3, pp. 365-90.

  • Eising, R. (2006) ‘Interest Groups and the European Union’ in: M. Cini European Union Politics. Second Edition (Oxford: Oxford UP), pp. 202-21.

  • Greenwood, J. (2007), Interest representation in the European Union (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillen)

  • Hart, D.M. (2004), ‘Business is not an interest group: on the study of companies in American national politics’, in: Annual Review of Political Science, No. 7, pp. 47-69.

  • Kohler-Koch, B. (2007) ‘The organization of interests and democracy in the European Union’ in: Kohler Koch, B. and B. Rittberger (ed.), Debating democratic legitimacy of the European Union (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers), pp. 255-71.

  • Marks, G. and D. McAdam (1996) ‘Social Movements and the Changing Structure of Opportunity in the European Union’, West European Politics, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 164-92.

  • Saurugger, S. (2008) ‘Interest Groups and Democracy in the European Union’, West European Politics, Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 1274-91.

  • Vining, A.R., D.M. Shapiro and B. Borges (2005), ‘Building the firm’s political (lobbying) strategy’, in: Journal of Public Affairs, Vol. 5, pp.150-75.


Through uSis from late June on.

Contact information

M.C.C. van Westing MA