Beate Kohler-Koch
The Commission under siege? New challenges in interest representation and economic governance

ECPR-SGEU, 7th Pan-European Conference on the European Union: The Commission in an era of politicization - neutral bureaucracy or strategic actor?, The Hague, June 05th to June 07th, 2014

Observers all agree that Brussels is flooded with lobbyists and that the European Commission is a preferred target as it plays a key role in EU decision-making. The paper will first give reliable data on lobbying in the EU. It examines how the Commission compares to other decision-making bodies both at national and EU level and what makes the Commission so attractive. The data support the conventional image that the Commission is under siege by economic lobbyists. However, a more detailed and in-depth study of the organization and strategies of economic interest groups tells us that we should not take the data at face value. The problem is not so much lobbying overload but how to achieve fair and transparent governance in a highly complex and heterogeneous system of (organized) interest.