Lobbying friends and foes in climate policy: The case of business and environmental interest groups in the European Union
Drawing on two conflicting hypotheses from the theoretical literature on lobbying, I consider the strategies applied by interest groups lobbying to influence climate policy in the European Union (EU). The first hypothesis claims that interest groups lobby their 'friends', decision-makers with positions similar to their own. The second claims that interest groups lobby their 'foes', decision-makers with positions opposed to their own. Using interviews with lobbyists and decision-makers, I demonstrate that in the field of climate policy, interest groups in the EU lobby both friends and foes, but under different conditions. Moreover, I find that the interest groups' motives are not always in line with the theoretical hypotheses. Interest groups lobby their friends on single policy decisions to exchange information, to further a common cause and to exert pressure, and their foes because a foe on one issue might prove to be a friend on another issue. Interest groups direct general lobbying towards both friends and foes. This paper provides a new empirical contribution to a literature that has so far been heavily dominated by studies focusing on lobbying in the US.
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