Journal of Common Market Studies vol:42 issue:3 pages:473-495
This article is an attempt to test empirically a theory of access that investigates the logic behind the lobbying behaviour of business interests in the European Parliament. The theoretical framework tries to explain the degree of access of different organizational forms of business interest representation (companies, associations and consultants) to the supranational assembly in terms of a theory of the supply and demand of ‘access goods’. On the basis of 14 exploratory and 27 semi-structured interviews, the hypotheses are checked in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) of the European Parliament. Surprisingly, European and national associations enjoy a similar degree of access to the Parliament. Individual companies and consultants have a much lower degree of access than the two collective forms of interest representation. In the conclusion, these results are analysed in the light of the existing literature on party cohesion and coalition formation in the European Parliament.