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A Comparative Study of European Business Organizations: The Channel of BUSINESSEUROPE

Yasemin İrepoğlu Carreras
University of Pittsburgh
Yasemin İrepoğlu Carreras
University of Pittsburgh
Open Panel

Abstract

What kind of leverage do European business organizations provide for their national members? How do their members make use of the umbrella mechanism to obtain policy advantages at the EU level? This paper specifically measures the influence of national business associations on the policies of the umbrella group as they confront the EU. While there is a plethora of studies on interest groups in the EU, there is a scarcity of works that specifically sketch the causal mechanism of the contributions of business organizations on EU legislation. I argue that EU wide umbrella business organizations assume important roles in European integration since they serve as “information centers” within the context of EU’s “governance in networks”. Also they operate as a “channeling” mechanism whereby its non-EU members (e.g. EU candidate countries) can also articulate their interests before becoming members. I find that the larger the staff of the national level business organization and the more they interact with the EU level business organization, the more likely it is that the EU legislation passed will be in line with their interests. Also, the larger the budget of the national business organization, it will again be more likely that they will influence the EU legislation. As the example of the EU level business organization, I use the Confederation of European Business, referred to as BUSINESSEUROPE. To illustrate the effectiveness of the BUSINESSEUROPE channel, I conduct case studies of member business organizations from Turkey, Croatia, Greece and Germany.