Legislation by Association - How the Ability of Associations to Provide Access Goods Affect Their Degree of Access to EU Institutions
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This thesis is a pilot study that seeks to provide a more fine-grained account of the degree of access different types of associations enjoy to EU institutions. By testing a qualified and nuanced theoretical framework based on access goods, the thesis seeks to capture how the ability of associations to provide such access goods affect to what degree they can access EU institutions during legislative processes. To that end, this thesis applies a comparative case study of EU environmental policy, focusing on the negotiations surrounding the legislative files of LULUCF and the Waste Package. By conducting semi-structured interviews with institutional representatives and different types of associations, the thesis generates rich and detailed empirical findings. The exploratory nature of the thesis and the setting in which it was written enabled initial interviews to be the conducted with Brussels insiders involved in other legislative processes, particularly RED II. These findings served as a point of comparison for the main case studies. The findings suggest that the ability of associations to provide a certain access good matters to a great degree, but this ability is not the sole determinant of the degree of institutional access. Other factors such as personal connections facilitated by a Brussels presence also play a fundamental role in facilitating the supply of access goods. Furthermore, the findings suggest that political intelligence is an important factor when some association types engage in political entrepreneurship during legislative negotiations. On the basis of these findings, this pilot study thus manages to further the theoretical and empirical debate on associational lobbying, and establishes that future research should consider the tactics adopted by associations alongside the supply and demand of access goods.