Lobbying in de Europese Unie : Is er nog toekomst voor nationale belangengroepen ?

  • Pieter Bouwen


This article studies the lobbying strategies of national business associations against the background of increasing Europeanization. It addresses the question whether national associations have withered away during the process of European integration. On the basis of neo-functionalist integration theory and the multi-level governance (MLG) perspective, a number of hypotheses are generated about the fate of national associations in the European integration process. An extensive empirica[ study of the EU financial services sector analyzes these hypotheses. The data show that European financial integration has not caused the withering away of national business associations as predicted by neofunctionalist theory. The data not only confirm the MLG hypothesis that national associations develop direct lobbying strategies at different levels of the EU multi-level system in order to gain access to the European decision-making process. In addition, the results also confirm the hypothesis that national associations undertake indirect lobbying strategies (through membership in European associations) with the aim of gaining institutional access. Finally, the degree to which national associations gain access to the European institutions is explained in terms of a theory of supply and demand for access goods.

How to Cite:

Bouwen, P., (2003) “Lobbying in de Europese Unie : Is er nog toekomst voor nationale belangengroepen ?”, Res Publica 45(4), p.673-696. doi:

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Published on
30 Dec 2003
Peer Reviewed