Interest Groups Essay example

2320 Words May 4th, 2013 10 Pages
At present, there are approximately 3,000 different interest groups that are formally recognized by the European Union (Kirchner 2011). These interest groups represent a variety of interests and vary in the amount of influence that they actually have on the policy making process. These groups represent the interest of multiple sectors of both social and economic life within the European Union. Interests range from AGRICULTURE to BIG BUSINESS to HUMANITARIAN AID. In a truly pluralist nature, these groups are competing, either directly or indirectly, with each one another to have an influence in the legislation that is produced by the European Union. It is without a doubt that these interest groups within the European Union play an important …show more content…
Interest groups maintain the capacity to speak for citizens who have these other main priorities ensuring that their opinions and interest are represented within the European Union. This utility goes a long way towards reducing the democratic deficit of the Union. Although the public may not have time or energy to direct their interests to their representatives, so long as they know that there is a group or organization representing their interests in Brussels, they may be more inclined to view the Union as democratic.
The multigovernmental nature of the European Union and the national governments of its member states also helps to decrease the democratic deficit, not only on a supranational level, but on a national level as well (Eising 2011). Because there is a division of powers and sovereignty between these two levels of governance, citizens have the capacity, through interest group activity, to represent their interests to two different legislative bodies that could pursue legislation in their favour (Kohler-Koch 1997; Eising 2011). Similarly, due to the relatively nascent state of European Union interest group activity, many groups with similar interests are combining and coordinating efforts in order to have a bigger influence over policy decisions (Greenwood 2003, Eising 2011). Because of this unique phenomenon, smaller groups may work in tandem with

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