Christine Quittkat, Arnold Wilts
Corporate interests and public affairs: Organised business–government relations in EU member states

Journal of Public Affairs, 2004: 4, issue 4, p. 384-399

The internationalisation of economic and political affairs changes the way in which business interests are brought to bear on public policy. This is a global phenomenon but can, in particular, be observed in Europe. The construction of the European Union, the development of the Single Market and the build-up of the policy institutions to go with it, together change business–government relations profoundly. This paper answers the question of how organised business interests relate to government agencies and political institutions. By using the example of trade associations in the Netherlands and Germany, the paper shows that, despite the internationalisation of public affairs in Europe, the national political level remains strategically important for the representation of business interests. The paper thus argues that changes in European business–government relations are institutionally embedded at both the European and the national level. The implication for future research is that much of the dynamics of economic and political internationalisation materialises within the domestic arrangements of interest politics.