Interest Groups in the EU

An ‘interest group’, most commonly known as ‘lobby’, is any organization or individual who develops activities with the aim of influencing the policy and decision-making processes in an institution. Among these activities it is included contacting MEPs and/or officials of the EU institutions; circulate communicating letters, information materials or position papers; organising events, meetings or promotional activities, etc.

Even if when one usually thinks about a lobbyist we mostly have in mind somebody representing the interests of a private company, there are many other kinds of interest groups such as:

  • Professional consultancies
  • Law firms
  • Self-employed consultants
  • Companies & groups
  • Trade, business & professional associations
  • Trade unions
  • Non-governmental organisations, platforms and networks
  • Think tanks and research institutions
  • Academic institutions
  • Organisations representing churches and religious communities
  • Organisations representing local, regional and municipal authorities, other public or mixed entities

The European Parliament and the European Commission offers a Transparency Register, where all interest groups are expected to submit some information about them such as number of employees and number of workers destined to policy advocating, budget designed to lobbying activities, information about the company…


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