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Communication and Lobbying



With the broadening and deepening of EU competences (most recently: Lisbon Treaty and current debates on the fiscal and financial crisis), a growing number and variety of interest groups try to have an impact on EU policies and their implementation: companies, non-governmental organisations, parastatal institutions, regional interests, etc. In addition to, and interplay with these institutional outsiders, no less intra-institutional lobbying takes place between and inside the Commission, Parliament and Council, advisory bodies etc. With a focus on real life phenomena and developments, this course will also reflect on the current state of theorising on EU decision making and issues of research methods.
Suggested reading material can be found in this pdf.

Course objectives

Students will, as their final ‘product’ on which their passing marks will be based, write an essay of 15-25 pages. The lecturer will play the role of ‘reflective practitioner’ / ‘talking mirror’ to students in their research, analysis and writing on the relationship between practice and scientific theory.


See the website
h3. Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Essay of 15-25 pages, based on

  1. 6-8 articles and
  2. additional primary sources or 3 additional articles.

Students are strongly advised to cooperate with and consult each other during research and writing of their individual essays. On request, lecturer is available for consultation, by e-mail or in person.

Choice of subject and literature / documentation is free, within the general EU lobbying theme as above. They may (but need not) be derived from the list of selected literature, and topics can range from general issues to specific cases or aspects, for instance:

  • lobbying procedures and processes in EU decision making

  • representativity of NGO and corporate lobbyists, lobbying as part of / opposed to democracy

  • varying and/or similar lobbying methods v.a.v. different EU institutions

  • ‘disguised’ forms of lobbying (through experts, assistants, advisors, …)

  • formal and informal methods – channels of lobbying

  • analyzing lobbying strategies, effectiveness or failure and lessons for the future

  • lobby strategies of different stakeholders (corporate, professional, NGO, intra-institutional)

  • the role/effect of national lobbying in member state policy on EU level

  • lobbying efforts by various players in real-life case xxx, in relation to general theories-analyses

  • tendencies and debates on position and regulation of lobbyists (incl: lobbying on lobbying)

  • enabling /limiting roles of current lobbying regulations in everyday lobbying practice

  • lobbying as part of broader Public Affairs practice

  • subject-specific lobbying in any EU policy field

  • state of play in lobby research, substance, methods

Reading list

Students are expected to locate their own materials for their essays and presentations. For suggestions consult separate list, literature of minor + master seminars, google scholar or lecturer. The selection below is intended to be indicative of the type of materials easily available to you, and may give you ideas of the scope of the subject and possibly also for essay topics. EU Documents will be given in class.

Books / readers (In addition to the obligatory 1st semester textbook: Neill Nugent, Government and Politics of the European Union , Palgrave Macmillan, 7th Edition, 2010):

  • Baumgartner e.a. (ed.), 2008, The Politics of Organised Interests in Europe: Lessons from EU Studies and Comparative Politics, West European Politics, 31: 6.

  • Berg, Esther van den, 2006, De lange weg naar Brussel, De Europese betrokkenheid van Nederlandse maatschappelijke organisaties en hun leden, Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau.

  • Bouwen, Pieter, 2001: Corporate lobbying in the European Union: towards a theory of access, European University Institute, – Political and Social Sciences, Papers 2001/5.

  • Burley, Helen, 2010, Bursting the Brussels bubble: the battle to expose corporate lobbying at the heart of the EU, Alter-EU.

  • Chari, Raj, & Hogan, John & Murphy, Gary, 2010, Regulating lobbying : a global comparison, Manchester University Press.

  • Cock, C. de, 2011, Survival Guide to EU Lobbying, Including the Use of Social Media, Eburon.

  • Coen, David, 2008, EU lobbying: empirical and theoretical studies, Routledge.

  • Coen, David & Richardson, Jeremy John (eds), 2009, Lobbying the European Union: institutions, actors, and issues, Oxford University Press.

  • Greenwood, Justin, 2011, Interest Representation in the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Karr, Karolina, 2006, Democracy and lobbying in the European Union, University of Chicago Press.

  • Kohler-Koch, Beate & De Bièvre, Dirk & Maloney, William A. (eds), 2008, Opening EU-governance to civil society: gains and challenges, Connex.

  • Langen, F.A.F., 2010, EU Cultural Policy 1974-2007. PhD Thesis: University of Glasgow.

  • Littoz-Monnet, A., 2007, The European Union and Culture: Between Economic Regulation and European Cultural Policy, Manchester University Press.

  • Mazey, Sonia & Richardson, Jeremy John (ed), 2004, Lobbying in the European Community, Oxford UP.

  • Naurin, D. 2007, Deliberation behind closed doors: transparency and lobbying in the European Union, ECPR.

  • Poppelaars, C., 2009, Steering a Course between Friends and Foes – Why bureaucrats interact with interest groups, Eburon.

  • Ruzza, Carlo & Della Sala, Vincent, 2007, Governance and Civil Society in the European Union: Exploring policy issues, Manchester UP.

  • Schendelen, M.P.C.M. van, 2010, More Machiavelli in Brussels: the art of lobbying the EU, Amsterdam University Press (N.B. earlier versions are outdated!).

  • Sluiter, Peter, Dwars door het Doolhof, Lobbyen in Brussel , IPP, 1996 (available from author)

  • Tanasescu, Irina, 2009, The European Commission and interest groups: towards a deliberative interpretation of stakeholder involvement in EU policy-making, VUBPress.


  • Baumgartner, 2007, ‘EU Lobbying: a view from the US’, Journal of European Public Policy 14:3, 482–488.

  • Bouwen, P., 2002, ‘Corporate lobbying in the European Union: the logic of access’, Journal of European Public Policy, Vol 9, 365-390.

  • Coen, David, 2005. ‘Environmental and Business Lobbying Alliances in Europe, Learning from Washington?’ In: David Levy & Peter Newell (eds.), The Business of Global Environmental Governance. Massachusetts: Institute of Technology, 197-220

  • Eising R., 2007, ‘The Access of Business Interests to EU political institutions, towards elite pluralism?’, Journal of European Public Policy, 14:3, 384-403

  • Dür, Andreas, 2008, ‘Interest Groups in the European Union: How Powerful Are They?’ West European Politics, 31:6.

  • Geyer, Robert, 2001, ‘Can European Union (EU) Social NGOs Co-operate to Promote EU Social Policy?’ Journal of Social Policy, 30:3, 477–493.

  • Kohler-Koch, B., 1997, ‘Organized interests in the EC and the European Parliament’, European Integration Online Papers 1 (9): 1-27

  • Littoz-Monnet, A. 2010, ‘Dynamic multi-level governance – Bringing the study of multi- level interactions into the theorizing of European integration’, European Integration Online Papers 14 (01): 1-20.

  • Marshall, D., 2010, ‘Who to Lobby and When: Institutional Determinants of Interest Group Strategies in
    European Parliament Committees’, European Union Politics, 11:4, 553-575.

  • Michalowitz, Irina, 2007, ‘What determines influence? Assessing conditions for decision-making influence of interest groups in the EU’, Journal of European Public Policy 14:1, 132–151.

  • Princen, S. & B. Kerremans, 2008, ‘Opportunity Structures in the EU Multi-Level System’, West European Politics, 31:6, 1129-1146.

  • Sánchez-Salgado, Rosa, 2007, ‘Giving a European Dimension to Civil Society Organizations’, Journal of Civil Society, 3: 3, 253–269.

  • Saurugger, Sabine, 2008, ‘Interest Groups and Democracy in the European Union’, West European Politics, 31: 6, 1274–1291.

  • Woll C., 2007, ‘Leading the Dance? Power and Political Resources of Business Lobbyists,’ Journal of Public Policy, 27:1, 57-78.

  • Wonka, A., Baumgartner, F. R., Mahoney, C. Berkhout, J., 2009, Measuring the Size and Scope of the EU interest Group Population, Paper prepared for the 5th ECPR General Conference, Potsdam, Germany.


Via uSis

Contact information

dhr. P. Sluiter