Fairbrass, Jenny. (2002) The Europeanization of Interest Representation: A Strategic Decision-Making Analysis of UK Business and Environmental Interests. In: UNSPECIFIED, Sheffield, UK.
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The point of departure for this paper is that the European Union (EU) has affected national politics, policies and polities. This process, labelled Europeanization, has led to changes in two interconnected political dimensions. First, it has led to modifications in the relationships between state and non-state actors within the national arena. Second, it has changed the interactions between the sub-national, national and supranational actors (state and non-state). To explore these propositions the paper conducts an analysis of the interest representation patterns exhibited by non-state actors. The paper compares firms (in the telecommunications, gas and electricity sectors) and environmental groups (focused on nature conservation or biodiversity policy), both based in the United Kingdom (UK), in order to determine how, to what extent and why Europeanization has affected their interest representation behaviour. The activities displayed by the two sets of interests are compared and contrasted in terms of chosen lobbying targets (i.e. national government departments and EU institutions), routes and allies (i.e. direct contact or via intermediaries such as Euro-groups) and the timing and character of the contact. Ideas and tools drawn from management science (i.e. strategic decision making analyses) are employed to assist in deriving the causal explanations for the Europeanized patterns of behaviour. It is argued that a combination of the three strategic decision making factors (i.e. internal organizational resources, objectives (and perceived rewards) and external political environments explain the contrasting behaviour of the firms and environmental groups.
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