With over 30,000 lobbyists in town, Brussels is often called the European capital of lobbying. Despite this, little is known on how this political system works in practice.
This book offers an unprecedented window into the everyday relationships between bureaucrats and interest representatives. Where the media only shows lobbyists as they meet MEPs and submit amendments, the book argues that the bulk of their work is done in close contact with EU bureaucrats – a form of ‘quiet politics’ developed by the business community, targeting officials with little public exposure. Based on official archives, the book first sets the historical picture for the emergence of a new layer of bureaucrats; fuelled by European and transatlantic capitalism, it altered the political façade of the business community to fulfil its need for legitimacy. Drawing from observations of internal meetings of the main lobbies operating in Brussels and interviews with lobbyists and Commission officials, the book then shows lobbyists at work.
This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners of the European Union, interest groups, and more broadly to political science and sociology.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Beyond Media Portrayals of Lobbying 1. Entanglement: A New Administration in Search of Economic Interlocutors (1958-1980) 2. 1970–010: How Brussels Became Crucial to the Private Sector 3. Lobbying: Harnessing Bureaucratic Resources as a Weapon for Business 4. Routine Lobbying: The Personal Appropriation of Administrative Knowledge 5. Containing the Political and Depoliticisation: Behind the Closed Doors of the Administration 6. Serving the Scientific Standardisation of Markets: The Technical Extension of Commercial Wars 7. Expertise in the Service of Business: Lobbying and the European Chemicals Agency Conclusion
Sylvain Laurens is a Maître de Conférences (senior lecturer) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France, where he hosts a seminar series on the ‘Sociology of Elites’.