• public affairs techniques;
  • lobbying theory;
  • lobbying the EU Commission;
  • lobbying survey


Among public affairs techniques lobbying is by far the most mystifying one — at least in Europe. Lobbying comes from the Latin word ‘labium’ and means ‘entrance hall’ or ‘lounge’. Therein the essential meaning can be seen: today political decisions are not made in plenary assemblies but primarily in the pre-political phase of balancing the various interests. Lobbying is to be understood as the ‘diverse intensive activities of social groups, chambers and companies in the political and bureaucratic vestibule’ (Beyme 1980). Modern lobbying on the EU level is an intermediary policy for the support of political decision making — even if some critics refuse to believe it. Lobbying at EU level has become a politically realistic dimension. Even if the mass media still take a very sceptical and negative view of lobbying in Brussels, based on the existing European taboo on influencing politics, an in-depth analysis reveals various lobbies at work in EU institutions. Lobbying today is an essential part of all EU decision areas. This paper describes the functional theory approach of lobbying known as ‘cooperation as confrontation through communication’. For the first time, recipients of lobbying in the EU Commission are demonstrating their acceptance of lobbying efforts. The paper is based on the doctoral thesis ‘The acceptance, relevance and dominance of lobbying the EU Commission’ by Peter Koeppl, University of Vienna (unpublished). Copyright © 2001 Henry Stewart Publications