Är en ökad reglering av lobbyverksamheten önskvärd?: En samhällsekonomisk bedömning av lobbyverksamheten i EU
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Is there a need for increased regulations on lobbying? : An economic analysis of lobbying in the EU (English)
As EU’s authority increased the number of lobbies in Brussels grew. Today there are approximately 15 000 lobbyists in Brussels. EU decisions and EU directives can have a huge impact on companies and organizations. They can however influence these decisions and directives through lobbying. The EU institutions also have an interest in cooperating with lobbies. Organizations and companies are regarded as important providers of knowledge and information. Lobbying has its advocates and critics, and is often debated. Which democratic and economic effects can lobbying imply?
According to different perspectives lobbying can have either negative or positive effects on democracy. Advocates think that lobbying imply more opportunities to influence policies and that good policies are created in a society open to all kinds of new ideas. Critics claim that lobbying creates non-democratic decisions and non-democratic decision-making processes. This is due to the fact that lobbying performance is more dependent on resources rather than the number of votes, there is a lack of transparency and that lobbies pursuit a special interest. According to critics lobbies often obtain a political influence at the expense of the general interest.
Economic theory states that lobbying can cause an inefficient allocation of resources and imply a waste of resources. Lobbying is regarded as rent-seeking - an attempt to capture existing wealth instead of creating new wealth. The competition for political influence is regarded as the main cause of inefficient allocation of resources. Becker, however, has a different view and states that the competition for political influence will result in an implementation of efficient policies. Governments will favor the politically powerful lobbies, and these lobbies are politically powerful because they lobby for efficient policies. The lobbies’ investments in producing pressure will however be wasteful. One pressure group’s increased expenditure on political pressure will force other pressure groups to increase their expenditure on political pressure and both groups will thus maintain their influence, the same influence they had before the increased expenditures. The lobbies are in a social dilemma – an additional investment is rational for the individual lobby but disadvantageous for the whole group of lobbies.
Which socio-economic effects will this imply for the EU? Is there a need for increased regulations on lobbying? In order to give an answer I have used second-hand data on lobbying in the EU – how lobbying has grown and how it works today – together with second-hand data on the decision-making process for an EU legislation and an EU programme.
The analysis of the economic and democratic effects, that lobbying in the EU implies, shows that there is a need for increased regulations on lobbying in the EU.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 56 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-18492ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--09/00484--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-18492DiVA: diva2:219949