Interest group success in the European Union: When (and why) does business lose?

Andreas Dür, Patrick Bernhagen, David Marshall

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124 Citations (Scopus)
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Business lobbying is widespread in the European Union (EU). But because not all lobbying is successful, the question arises: when does business win and when does it lose in the context of legislative policy-making in the EU? We argue that business actors are, overall, less successful than citizen groups in the European
policy process. However, they can protect their interests if interest group conflict is low or the role of the European Parliament is restricted. A new dataset on the positions of more than one thousand non-state actors with respect to 70 legislative acts proposed by the European Commission between 2008 and 2010 allows us to evaluate this argument. Empirical support for our expectations is highly robust. Our findings have implications for the literature on legislative decision-making in the EU and for research on non-state actors in international organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-983
Number of pages33
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number8
Early online date20 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • business and politics
  • European Union
  • interest groups
  • lobbying success


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