EM Germany: EU-in-BRIEF out now | Lobbying in participatory democracy by Bernd Hüttemann
One year after the Brexit decision, the remaining Member States of the European Union and its institutions have moved closer together. The consolidation of influence and participation in EU legislative process, which had begun in recent years, has not been directly affected by it. The Community institutions of the European Commission and European Parliament continue to seek rules which will shape the handling of interest groups more efficiently and transparently. Binding the Council of the European Union and the Member States in the existing and tightened lobbying rules was to remain an unfulfilled wish this year. Meanwhile, the previously unsuccessful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has experienced a small degree of momentum.
“European institutions were not the only ones working in the context of external and internal crises, intermediary spheres were also affected. Significant developments did take place, however, beneath the radar. The Commission’s strategy of ‘better regulation’, first introduced in 2015, led to the formation of a new governance cycle. As a result, interest groups are being involved not only at the procedural stage but also in the implementation phase, provided that there is structuring of existing opportunities for participation by stakeholders where there is a tendency to the exclusivity of the involved parties. It is primarily the Transparency Register which is being discussed publicly. It continues to be well suited as a negative model for ‘Brussels lobbying’, but it does also provide clarity for accountability contexts. This includes the increasing clarification and classification of the term ‘lobbying’. Thus, the practice of the informal trilogue between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission has begun to attract greater attention. A new trend seems to be the consideration of lobbying in the Permanent Representations of the member states.” writes European Movement International’s Vice President Bernd Hüttemann in our recently published EU-in-BRIEF.
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