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Right venues for right issues: Lobbying parliaments and ombudsmen on good governance in the EU

Viera Knutelská
Charles University
Viera Knutelská
Charles University
Open Panel

Abstract

Organized civil society has, as do other organized interests, multiple possibilities to influence the European decision-making by lobbying various European and national institutions. In any case of lobbying, the target institutions should be selected according to their decision-making power or influence in the field and also, and sometimes more importantly, their probable receptiveness to the issue. Given the specific interests the civil society organizations often advocate (such as civil rights and freedoms, citizenship, good-governance etc.), a specific advocacy strategy should be targeted at parliamentary instructions and specific rights-defending institutions such as ombudsmen. At the same time, given the multi-level nature of the European decision-making and of these issues in the European polity, better results could be expected when targeting institutions at multiple levels. This paper analyzes advocacy strategies and lobbying activities of organized civil society promoting and lobbying for better good governance practices, specifically their choices of target institutions and effectiveness of choosing parliamentary institutions and ombudsmen, and of targeting institutions at multiple levels (e.g. national parliament and the European parliaments / MEPs). The empirical evidence is based on cases form the new Member States, especially Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.