Essay about Interest Groups

2342 Words Apr 30th, 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 also have a large capacity to influence the agenda setting role of the European Commission (Hanegraaf 2011, Eising 2008). Since no other entity within the European Union has the ability to propose legislation, the interest groups play a keen role in establishing what topics get put on the agenda of the European Union to be legislated (Eising 2011). Failure for an issue to be put on the legislative agenda of the European Union, it has to be selected by the Commission; due to this fact, it is critical that interest groups represent the peoples’ interests in bringing the current salient issues of the public to the attention of the Commission. While it is unlikely that a single individual could alone affect the agenda of the entire European Union, combined efforts into an interest group has the ability to draw more attention to the issue. This is the single most important thing that interest groups to improve the democratic quality of legislation within the Union. If an interest group succeeds in getting a topic put on the agenda, further efforts can be made towards promoting policy one way or another, but if this is not done than the topic cannot be discussed at all. By thereby contributing to the agenda-setting process of the

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