The European Commission has four main rules:
1. Proposing new legislations to the Parliament and the Court. It is important that these proposals are aimed to defend the interest of the Union and its citizens, and not only for specific countries or industries.
2. It is responsible for supervising the budget under the watchful eye of the Court. It also has to manage the policies which are adopted by the Parliament and Council.
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3. They have to make sure that the law in every European country is properly applied.
4. Representing the EU on the international stage. It makes sure that the member states can speak with one voice (Europa.eu, 2009).
Explain why the system of Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in the Council of Ministers has become more important in the decision-making process
Assuming a measure is opposed by Britain, Italy and Ireland, which together wield 23 votes, these have more power than smaller countries. Since a blocking majority consists of 26 votes, the power of Denmark or Finland (each with three votes) to determine the Council's decision on the measure becomes infinitely greater than Luxembourg's (with only two votes). A small country can exert enormous leverage on its larger colleagues when it can use its votes to transform an existing coalition into a qualified majority or blocking majority (Peterson and Bomberg, 1999, p.51-52).
Why and how has the role of the European Parliament become more significant in the decision-making process
The European Parliament works aside the Council of Ministers to make decisions, therefore Parliament amendments are now influenced by the European Parliament in the decision-making process. It is more involved under two procedures, co-decision and cooperation with the Council of Ministers. This procedure was introduced by the EC Treaty of Maastricht and was largely expanded by the Amsterdam and Nice alteration of the TEC. Now the procedure is applied to practically all important matters (Europedia, 2009).
With the cooperation procedure, introduced in the SEA, the Council becomes more influenced. If the EP has different opinions to what the Council proposes in a specific legislation, further discussion and modifications can be undertaken. Today this procedure will only be applied in limited areas of economic and monetary unions. Under the co-decision procedure now fall the vast majority of EU legislations that were introduced by the Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice Treaties. In this procedure the EP has more power to veto against some decisions from the Council. If they can not agree with each other, the legislation will fail to exist (Bomberg E. and Stubb A., 2005, p. 59).
To what extent will changes to decision making procedures outline in the Lisbon Treaty (2007) improve the legislation process within the EU
Firstly, it generalises the qualified majority voting in a normal legislative process. Secondly, the weight of the votes will change in the Council and significantly simplify the system of qualified majority. From the 1st of November 2014, the qualified majority has to be at least 55 % of the members of the Council, including a minimum of fifteen of them and representing Member States involving a minimum of 65 % of the inhabitants of the Union. A blocking majority must have a minimum of four Council members, and the qualified majority will be reached. The new voting system values the fairness of Member States as each one has one vote in respect of the first decisive factor and the second criteria is the population size of a country. The third criteria which must be noted is that 15 Member States in support of the proposal - is unnecessary
Current decisions about roaming fees and the services directive demonstrate how the European Parliament's membership guides take decisions, which are in the interest of the European citizens. Henceforward, the European Parliament will have the same power as the Council of Ministers in many areas. Regarding the agricultural policy, the Parliament will be able to contribute to it. The EP will therefore take part in all aspects of the EU budget. The national Parliament will play a role prior to the acceptance of EU legislation and will be adept to force the Commission to modify draft EU-legislations. It will be a milestone to bringing the EU nearer to its citizens (TheEuros, 2007).
In what ways do lobbying groups contribute to the policy process in the EU and why are they significant for business
In 2008, there were 15,000 lobbyists and 2,500 lobbying organisations in Brussels. In the EU, the Lobbyist usually drops into one of three major groups: industry associations, regional representations and non-governmental organisations / interest groups. Interest groups and industry associations focus on influencing decision-making processes for the benefit of their members, while also gathering and disseminating useful information. In distinction, regional lobby groups stand for regional and local authorities within EU Member States, they do not focus on direct lobbying, but on networking, informing and marketing their regions all the way through the EU machinery (Stevenson, 2008, p.1).
One of the most important issues in front of interests groups is the hanging balance of power between European Institutions. Enlargement of qualified majority voting in the Council take the veto power from Member States in some economic areas, the co-decision process gave the European Parliament a bigger role in decision-making and the power to reject legislation that the Council favours. Interest groups style alliances in order to give the issue a true European dimension and perspective. The EU today manages important policies such as the Common Agriculture Policy, telecommunication, the negotiation in the World Trade Organisation, food safety, public health and transport. Business groups account for almost two-thirds of all Eurogroups (Lehmann, 2003, p.5-21).
Lobbying is significant for the business, because the firms can influence on the government's decisions.
Levi Strauss & Co. for example, relies on Guatemala for materials such as textiles. In 2001, the U.S. government denied Guatemala duty-free status for its imports due to the Latin America government's decision to adequately implement labor laws. This would have increased Levi Strauss's costs, so it had a clear business interest in dominating, "Rather than lobby the U.S. government to retain Guatemala's preferential trade status" the author writes, Levi's choose to attack the cause of the problem: the Guatemala's lack of labour laws. The result: Guatemala put into operation stronger labor laws as a result it continues to have protected trade status with the United States (Is 'Lobbying for Good' CSR's Missing Link?, 2009).
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Lobbying in the European Union. (2017, Dec 16). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/lobbying-european-union/