Multilevel Governance and Business Interests in the European Union

  • Eising R
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Abstract

The article analyzes how business interests responded to European integration. It draws on survey data of eight hundred German, French, British, and European Union (EU) trade associations as well as thirty-four large firms. The argument is that the multilevel governance approach to European integration captures the realities of EU interest intermediation better than neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism. The article suggests that the strategies of interest organizations depend mainly on their location in the EU multilevel system and on their governance capacities. I distinguish two kinds of governance capacities: negotiation capacities and organizational resources. The analysis proceeds in the following steps: After outlining the three theories of European integration and presenting their implications for interest groups, a brief overview of the relative importance for interest organizations of EU and national institutions over time is provided. Then, cluster analysis techniques serve to identify types of interest groups according to their lobbying strategies in the multilevel system: niche organizations, occasional players, traditionalists, EU players, and multilevel players are distinguished. The composition of these clusters and the characteristics of their members support the multilevel governance approach and indicate that multilevel players have greater governance capacities than organizations in the other clusters. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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Authors

  • Rainer Eising

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