Influence module

Influencing policy outcomes is the aim of much interest group activity. The focus of the Austrian team is on this last stage of the influence production process, addressing questions such as: do interest groups affect the policies that are made by EU institutions? How much influence do corporations, citizen groups, and other lobbyists have on policy outcomes in the EU? Are some groups more influential than others? If so, why? And which strategies of influencing political outcomes are most likely to succeed?

We have carried out some 70 interviews with officials in the European Commission to gather information on our sample of legislative proposals. These interviews allowed us to identify the positions of more than 1,000 non-state policy advocates on conflictive issues contained in these proposals; the positions of the European institutions; the outcomes; and the reversion points. These data allow us to calculate several measures of success, which, in turn, allow us to test expectations about which actors should be successful in EU legislative decision-making under which conditions.

An initial set of papers shows that business actors are relatively unsuccessful in the EU; that groups with insider status that possess helpful information are successful at the policy formulation stage; and that non-state actors tend to benefit from positional proximity to the European Parliament.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Dür
Universität Salzburg