An analysis of available statistical data on the development and on the unequal status of the representation of interests in Brussels (organisations, personnel, finance)

Publication date: 
mercredi, August 29, 2012
Dieter Plehwe (with contributions from Robert Müller, Katja Walther, and Matthias Schlögl)

For many citizens, the European Union is still far away. It is not easy to get a fair picture of how policy is formulated. Transparency measures taken, in particular the European Transparency Register, are still causing more difficulties than that they offer solutions. This study gives a picture of the landscape of active lobby organisations.

Short expertise on behalf of AK Vienna.

Executive summary / policy recommendations: 

"As expected, the organisational figures send a clear signal in view of the balance of power of capital and labour. At 2,176 European lobby groups, we have coded 63 per cent of all organisations as business interests, 19 to which another 168 lobby groups of professional groups may be added, because the majority of their work is carried out as self-employed work in SMEs. Overall, 68 per cent of organisations would therefore have to be allocated to the camp of business interests. Compared to this, the share of 47 trade unions (or 100 according to the Transparency Register) counts for just one or two per cent of the European lobby groups. Apart from the trade union organisations, trade unions play a role in some lobby groups, which have been coded as multiple interest organisations as their membership combines different interests (e.g. business and employee)."