Giants and dwarfs: the multilevel lobbying strategies of national interest organizations

Mitja Hafner-Fink, Meta Nowak, Danica Fink-Hafner, Rainer Eising, Daniel Rasch, Patrycja Rozbicka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article addresses the bias in interest representation within the EU by examining the lobbying strategies of national interest organisations within the EU’s multilevel political system. Both our theoretical framework, which includes the determinants of a national interest organisation's decision to act at the EU level, and the data analysis from the INTEREURO Multi-Level Governance Module (MLG) ( reveal three main findings. Firstly, the greatest differentiation among interest organisations (IOs) appears to be between those IOs from the older member states (Germany, the UK and the Netherlands), which exhibit above-average levels of activity, and those from the newer EU member states (Sweden, Slovenia), which exhibit below-average levels of activity. Secondly, the variations in IO activity levels are much greater from country to country than from one policy field to another. Thirdly, although the IOs from all five countries in our study are more likely to employ media and publishing strategies (information politics) than to mobilise their members and supporters (protest politics), we can still observe national patterns in their selection of strategies and in the intensity of their instrumentalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-624
Number of pages20
JournalTeorija in Praksa
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

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  • EU
  • interest groups
  • interest organisations
  • lobbying
  • strategies


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