Cowles, Maria Green. (1995) "The 'Business' of Agenda-Setting in the European Union". In: UNSPECIFIED, Charleston, South Carolina. (Unpublished)
Despite growing interest in large firms' activities, the agenda-setting power of European big business has been largely ignored or misunderstood by EU scholars. For example, some scholars discuss lobbying strategies, collective action and legislative issues but stop short of outlining the specific powers and resulting actions of large multinational enterprises (MNEs). Other scholars focus so intently on formal bodies, government side payments and decisionmaking rules that they completely omit the considerable power of big business in their analysis. In this paper, I attempt to address this situation by identifying the obstacles to understanding the agenda-setting role of big business, by highlighting how scholars might better comprehend the power of large European firms, and by providing several empirical examples of big business agenda-setting in the EU today. While numerous business organizations are capable of setting the EU agenda in a number of policy areas, this paper will focus primarily on the two major trans-sectoral big business organizations in the EU today: the European Round Table of industrialists and the EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce.
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