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“Non-Governmental Organizations as a Lobbying Force in the European Union: Myths and Realities”

Thomas, Clive S. (1999) “Non-Governmental Organizations as a Lobbying Force in the European Union: Myths and Realities”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)

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    This paper examines the changing role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or public interest groups as they are known in North America, in EU policy making since the mid-1980s. The study provides the first extensive insights into the development, the extent, the strategy and tactics and the influence (or lack thereof) of NGOs as a lobbying force in the EU and places these aspects of NGO activity in context within EU lobbying in general. The impetus for the study came from members of the European Committee for Public Affairs (who represent the major companies lobbying in the EU) of the Conference Board of Europe. It was the perception of several members of this group that, in recent years, NGOs have gained a special status in EU policy making circles and have increased in political power at the expense of business. This perception prompted the committee to embark upon a study of the role of NGOs in European public affairs. It is on the findings from this extensive study and a related study that the bulk of this paper is based. The paper begins by reviewing background studies, defining key terms, and explaining the methodology and data sources. It then identifies the major research questions and how these were formulated. The next four sections provide the results of the research from the three groups of respondents targeted plus a summary section. Based on these findings, the concluding section places NGO lobbying activity in the context of EU lobbying in general for the insights it can provide for adding to an understanding of the EU lobbying scene and interest group activity in general.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > lobbying/interest representation
    Other > NGOs
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > historical development of EC (pre-1986)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1999 (6th), June 2-5, 1999
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2006
    Page Range: p. 23
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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