Current efforts

To a large extent, the efforts of the INTEREURO team to date have been directed to building the large, integrated dataset on lobbying in the EU as outlined in our proposal, founded by the European Science Foundation and several national foundations. An overview of all the data-collection projects as well as the overall methodological and theoretical underpinnings has been publised in a special issue of Interest Groups & Advocacy. We are well on track to completing our objectives in the time and manner anticipated in the proposal. The specific country team activities are outlined below.

  • After weeks of hard work we are proud to announce that the INTEREURO web survey, the last feat in this already successful project, has now been officially launched. In this last part of the INTEREURO project we aim to survey the entire European interest community. For this we tested and fine-tuned a web-based questionnaire. At this moment more than 2000 organizational representatives are invited to take part in the survey. Simultaneously, the Slovenian, Belgian, Dutch and Swedish teams are planning separate national-level surveys to be conducted in 2015. Additional surveys in other countries (the UK, Australia, Poland) are planned for 2016 and 2017. For further questions on the survey please contact Frederik Heylen, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • The Belgian team provides much of the supervision and coordination of the project around the sampling of approximately 120 proposals based on media visibility under consideration in the EU in the time frame specified in the proposal. Several teams, most notably the Austrian and German teams, participated extensively in this sampling process and the construction of a media archive of reports in major Europe-wide media outlets on the proposals. These initial steps in the design of the larger study have been completed.

  • The Austrian team then took the lead, with contributions from members of several other national teams, in conducting initial interviews of officials in the European Commission to both characterize the proposals along a number of dimensions in a series of memos and to identify key interest organization actors (approximately 650) involved in debates over the proposals. This step is essentially completed, although a handful of interviews/memos remain. The interviews were transcribed and used to construct a database on the proposals.

  • The Belgian, Austrian, and Swedish teams took the lead in designing an interview instrument based on media reports underlying the sampling scheme and the identification of interest organizations via the Commission expert interviews. This interview instrument taps the strategy and influence focus of these teams’ modules in the ESF proposal. After some initial pilot interviews and modest revision of the interview instrument, the formal interviews began, based on a sampling scheme developed by the Austrian and Belgian teams, in October of 2012. Members of several national teams are participating in the interview process.

  • The German team, working closely with Slovenian, Swedish, and Dutch teams (and teams from Spain, the United Kingdom, and Denmark who have joined our project informally with their own national funding) has provided the major coordinating work in examining how a subsample of the 20 of the EU proposals were subsequently addressed in the national political processes of each of these countries. This largely entails doing what we have done at the EU-level the same kinds of analyses in each country: the design of an interview instrument (completed with interviews starting in February of 2013), constructing a media archive of reports on the proposals in national news outlets (completed), identifying national stakeholders (approximate 3,300, including approximately 2,000 interest organizations), and constructing an archive of national-level of documents related to the 20 proposals. In 2013, the many participants in the multi-level government (MLG) team will conduct the bulk of the interviews with national officials and interest groups as well as begin analyzing the documents using qualitative text analysis based on a coding scheme developed in 2012.

  • The associated American team (funded by NSF) has developed an archive of EU-level documents on the 120 EU proposals (completed) and is now analyzing these using quantitative text analysis methods. The focus of this research module is on the frames used to discuss issues, a focus shared by the MLG country teams.

  • The Dutch team developed a coding scheme for interest organizations, with input from all of the other national teams, suitable for analyzing the EU interest organization population and crucial for the other national project modules in completing their analyses. This coding instrument is being used for web-based coding of all of the interest organizations identified by the other national teams via media analysis, expert interviews, and document analysis as involved in the 120 proposals (approximately 5,000 interest organizations) and data on interest organizations from the European Parliament door pass registration system whether or not they are involved in the 120 issues underlying our sample (approximately 4,000. To date, master-level students at the University of Leiden have now coded approximately 40 percent of the interest organizations using the coding scheme.