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(p. 179) 13. Interest Groups and the European Union 

(p. 179) 13. Interest Groups and the European Union
(p. 179) 13. Interest Groups and the European Union

Rainer Eising

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date: 19 April 2021

This chapter examines the role of interest groups in European Union politics. The formation and behaviour of interest groups are influenced by the political opportunity structure formed by the EU and other political institutions. The EU's institutional setting (its dynamic political agenda, its complexity and multilevel character, and its reliance on consensus) shapes the interest group system and interest mediation within the EU. After providing an overview of the relationship between EU institutions and interest groups, the chapter considers how the EU institutions influence interest group structures and activities. In particular, it describes the difference between national and EU organizations, and between business and diffuse interests. It also discusses the Europeanization of interest mediation and how EU membership may have altered the structures and activities of domestic interest groups.

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