Marshall, David (2009) Who to lobby: Institutional and organisational constraints to influencing European Parliamentary Committees. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)
There now exists a considerable body of literature on the legislative activity of the European Parliament (EP). This has made clear that today the EP acts as an effective counterbalance to the legislative power of the Council, across a range of policy areas. Central to the EP’s growing effectiveness is its strong committee system. Where our understanding is less fully developed is in understanding the mechanism through which organised interests contribute to this process. This is of particular concern given that parliamentary legislators are at a strong informational disadvantage compared to their counterparts in the Council and Commission. To address this issue the paper focuses on the institutional interface between European Parliamentary Committees and actively participating lobbyists. Here a theoretical argument is developed to explain what determines which MEPs lobbyists obtain legislative advocacy from. Central to the explanation is the role that institutional rules combined with a committee’s informal system of organisation play in determining lobbyists’ strategic behaviour. The analysis makes clear that lobbyists understand the distribution of influence among committee members, and that associated with greater influence is a requirement for higher quality information. The empirical analysis is carried out on data obtained from 94 structured interviews combined with an original data set of committee stage votes.
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