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Additional info for Regional Representations in the EU: Between Diplomacy and Interest Mediation

Sample text

The EU lobbying environment Regardless of the actual structure of the organised interest, there are certain common features to all EU lobbying. The main aims of a Brussels lobbying base are: 1. monitoring social and political issues likely to impact on the interests of the business; 2. helping represent the organisation to key audiences or stakeholders; guiding senior leaders as necessary in their policy-making; and A Framework for Analysis 33 3. , 1993: 198). The work carried out by lobbying organisations, like regional representations in the EU, therefore straddles the divide between upstream and downstream information provision.

There is a question mark over the extent to which EU lobbying effort is focused on upstream activity in comparison with downstream information provision. Whilst the precise balance of upstream/downstream activity will depend on the objectives of the organisation, it has been suggested that the size of an individual lobbying bureau, in terms of its staffing, may serve as an approximation of the balance of its activities. Small-scale operations at the Brussels level may act merely as “listening posts”, whose function is to “simply gather information on funding opportunities or new EU-level policy initiatives” (Mazey and Richardson, 2001a: 75).

A distinct level of governance, sometimes intertwined with national interests, sometimes separate, and with a whole range of competencies and interests. (Greenwood, 2003: 233) Yet clearly regional representations are situated physically in a network of multiple interest groups in Brussels, often in shared premises. The mode of interaction is broadly similar; a team of officials are housed in a representative office, and are tasked with monitoring EU legislative developments, reporting on these to members, subscribers, or to head office in some other state.

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