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Eu Interest Groups And Policy-making

Posted on:2011-01-11Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:P P PengFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116360305968987Subject:International politics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
The existence of interest group is an important part of western political life; and whose political influence is extensively recognized by the public. It is difficult to understand the performance and development of western politics without a comprehensive recognition of political interest.Overseas or domestically, some important theoretical modes have been put forward on the exercise of political influence of interest by many scholars. Macroscopically, the interpretation of pluralism and corporatism on interest group boasts a long standing and vigorous life. In a middle and microcosmic point of view, it is the economic theory of interest group that provides a prospect to have penetrating sight of its interior motive and influence on public policy and society. Owing to the different explanation on its mechanism, interest group is still undergoing revision so as to make it more understandable.As an important phenomenon of EU political life, EU interest group comes into being and develops on the base of interest group of member states. Firstly, the Europeanization of member states affairs makes it possible for member state interest groups to expand its scope to EU level, and at the same time, to accelerate the formation of new interest groups, which is the background for the expansion of EU interest groups. Secondly, form the prospect of EU, the development of strategic political interest group is in accordance with its legality of rule and demand of effectiveness, which, especially in the game of interest, strengthens the need of mutual-reliance of EU and its interest groups. And therefore, on the spur of EU policy, the role of interest group in EU affairs is becoming more and more evident. With the deepening of integration, the number of interest group is increasing continuously and its performance of mechanism is in constantly regulation. What's more, the expansion of EU has exerted great influence on the construction and agenda of interest group.There exist many kinds of crucial relative interests in the public affairs of EU, therefore a concrete analysis of which can be carried out from different aspects. From activity level, the interest groups in EU can be found in the level of EU, the level of states, the level of sub-state, and separate or common action level. However the interest group is often classified as business interest group and public interest group or non-business one by the academic circle. The former takes a proportion of 82% of all recorded interest groups in EU. The latter includes the following; 1. Interest group of specialized trade and profession 2. Interest group of workers 3. Interest group of the public (with consumer , environment, civilian interest group etc included ) 4. Regional interest group. On retrospection of the formation and development history of EU interest group, it can be concluded that which is a combination of pluralism and corporatism. The rule of EU possesses its specialty and boasts the following features; 1. Multilayer, the stipulation of EU policy involves in different aspects; horizontally, which deals with economy, politics, foreign affairs even defense and every aspect of life in EU. Longitudinally, the policy-making deals with the level of hyper-state, state, sub-state and region etc. It is just against such a background that the policy- making or administration of EU reflects the characteristics of multi-level, and the theory of multi-layer administration has become an important one in EU policy-making research and provides a mechanism and platform for hyper-state institution, member state activist and sub-state activist; which also enhances the transparency and democracy of policy making and gets the support and recognition of the public and hence the legality of re-construction. 2. Pragmatics and gradualism. The pragmatics can be seen in such crucial matters as the choice of direction, the policy-making, the control of speed etc; which is closely related to gradualism. On the one hand, it can be found on the stipulation and realization of EU aim of integration; and on the other hand it can be found on the constant amelioration and development of EU policy-making agenda, ways of decision-making and rules of procedures etc. 3. Flexibility and compromise. Compromise is an essential factor in EU spirit. Each step of deepening in integration of EU can not do without compromise. It should be said that compromise is the normalcy in the process of integration. Without compromise, there would be no EU today. However the compromise can often be shown by the disguise of flexibility in EU policy-making and execution. All the features mentioned above consist of the complexity of the systematic project of EU policy-making.The interest group plays an indispensable part in the procedure of EU policy-making. The multi-layer administration mechanism in EU provides an important channel for interest group to exert its influence. Western scholars once pointed out that different channels of interest expressing of EU rely on the opportunist structure and it is the multi-layer construction that provides chance for interest groups to affect policy-making. The extensive way of interest expressing of EU relies on the concept of'political opportunist structure', whether dominant or recessive. Generally speaking, opportunity structure stands for a certain mechanism feature, which determines the influence of exterior groups on policy-making. Narrowly speaking, political opportunity includes two aspects, one is structure, which deals with the openness of political system and therefore have something to do with the convenience of access for political actor. The other is the receptivity of political system for the right demand of the political actor. And the latter may incorporate a series of chance. The above mentioned two aspects connect the boundary of possibility and the issues that must be dealt with by social campaign and interest group in participation of political activity. While the multi-layer feature of the EU provides sufficient condition for interest group to affect decision making. This is a substantial part of interest group to influence EU policy-making. Another is important too, that's to say the interest group can supply access product for EU institution. The success of exchange in political domain is crucial for EU and interest groups, which is the root for the two to coexist and maintain.Policy-making is a process of interaction of different social forces, and also a process for interest groups to influence public policy by various means to maximize its interest proper. Whether route of member states or route of Brussels, they both are strategies taken by interest groups to affect policy-making on different conditions, which turns on combined actions of various factors.Interest groups of EU play an important part in policy making; to evaluate its function involves many aspects and whose influence on EU democracy is a big rhetorical question. The debate on EU democracy deficit and the role played by citizen in participation of political process has drawn people's research to the role of organized civil society since 1990s. Given the current framework of democracy, the influence of interest group on EU democracy is independent variable; democracy is dependent variable; which is a combination of passive factors and active factors. Theoretically, there is the internal possibility for the interest group to rectify the democracy deficit of EU, but practically, the interest group plays an active role in maintain the transparency and competition of policy-making; and at the same time, the elite feature of interest group may impede the legality of democracy. Therefore, it is in such sense that democracy of EU is not a separate issue, especially as a search for democracy consultation; EU is marching forward to a new democracy to adapt to the current challenges, to administering a much bigger and more diverse political space. So it can be said that the influence of interest group on EU democracy is not a singular problem, which is extensive and multi-layered. The crux for the solution of democracy deficit in the process of integration of EU lies in the legality of administration, and the mechanism of interest group is an important part of which. The interest game of interest group in the stipulation of EU constitution sheds light on this point.To sum up, the interest group does not develop and perform in a vacuum, whose birth and development has undergone a process of constant mature. And in this process, the interest group proper, as a component of a colony, goes through a not only a transition of organization form, but also a constant amelioration of mechanism. In order to regularize the conduct of internal members ,strengthen the cohesion of the collective , perfect and unify the system of colony and organization, and finally realize the function of order, control and strengthening organization, while accelerate the publicity and transparency of decision-making, EU has to limit the negative effect of interest group in policy-making, which is necessary and pressing. And at the same time, EU should ameliorate the current framework on the experiences of the US and other countries so as to ensure the cleanness and justice of EU by way of transparency.
Keywords/Search Tags:European Union, interest group, policy-making, pluralism, corporatism
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