Journal of European Public Policy vol:9 issue:3 pages:365-390
The complexity and diversity of European interest politics is exemplified by the multitude of channels and targets that private actors use to lobby in the EU multi-level system. The aim of this article is to investigate the logic behind the apparent ad hoc lobbying behaviour of private interests. A theoretical framework is developed in order to explain the access of business interests to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. The degree of access to these institutions is explained in terms of a theory of demand and supply of access goods. Access goods concern information that is crucial in the EU policy-making process. In order to gain access to an EU institution, business interests have to provide the access good(s) demanded by that institution. Organizational form is introduced as the innovative unit of analysis. It follows that associative business action is unconventionally studied in relation to two other organizational forms: individual company action and thirdparty representation.