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The Nature and Practice of Lobbying in the EU


Admission requirements

Registration for the Minor European Union Studies or admission to the pre-master European Union Studies.


‘Lobbying’ often invokes images of large powerful companies unduly pressuring politicians. In reality however, lobbying is an essential part of European decision-making. Everyone lobbies; civil society and businesses lobby the EU institutions, and the institutions lobby each other intensively too. This provides a vital source of information on a dossier and on the opinions held by stakeholders in different Member States. Lobbying in the EU can be quite a challenge though due to the international setting and complicated procedures of EU decision-making. The course will explore the role, nature, challenges and strategies of EU lobbying in-depth.

The emphasis of this course is on practice, employing the recent experience of the teacher as a Member of the European Parliament. Throughout the course, students will be working in small groups on a case study, using a dossier currently debated in the European Parliament. Near the end of the semester, they will be able to independently write an Advocacy Strategy on that dossier.

Course objectives

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the role of lobbying in the democratic process of the EU and to familiarise them with the tools and strategies used to lobby the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. They will be able to apply this knowledge in practice.


See website Minor EUS.

Mode of instruction

Seminars, with mainly lectures in the first hour and practical work on current case studies in the second hour each week

Course load

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours:

  • Course participation – attendance is compulsory (12 × 2 hours = 24 hours);

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures (4 × 12 hours = 48 hours);

  • Preparing for class presentation (8 hours);

  • Researching and writing the end of term paper (60 hours).

Assessment method

The final mark will be a combination of the following marks obtained during the classes:

  • Take active part in class discussions and group work (20%);

  • Give a presentation (20%);

  • Write an Advocacy Strategy using a current case study (60%).
    The final paper will only be marked if the student has attended the seminars.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


There will be a retake for the Advocacy Strategy.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

The compulsory literature for weekly readings will be made available during the course. The course will mainly use scientific articles, news articles and policy documents from the EU institutions.


Via uSis.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact information

Drs. M. Cornelissen