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Convincing Political Stakeholders: Successful Lobbying Through Process Competence in the Complex Decision-making System of the European Union



Convincing Political Stakeholders: Successful Lobbying Through Process Competence in the Complex Decision-making System of the European Union

Klemens Joos

ISBN: 978-3-527-50865-5 December 2016 526 Pages


With the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, the EU de facto became a state territory stretching from Portugal to Finland and from Ireland to Cyprus. The previous co-decision procedure was elevated to become the standard procedure ("ordinary legislative procedure"). For the players on the "European Union stage" - the EU member states, EU regions, companies, associations and organisations - this leads to the problem that the outcome of decision-making processes has become largely incalculable. The author, Klemens Joos, points out that, at the latest since the Treaty of Lisbon, successful lobbying in the complex decision-making system of the EU is much more the result of the intermesh of content competence (the four "classic instruments" of lobbying: corporate representative of-fices, associations, public affairs agencies, law firms) with process structure competence (i.e. the EU-wide maintenance of the required spatial, personnel and organisational capacities as well as strong networks across institutions, political groups and member states) on the part of an independent intermediary. One's own concerns are only likely to be successful if the in-terests of politicians and the general public are taken into consideration (change in perspec-tive to the common interest perspective). If this perspective change is successful, process support competence is crucial to achieving the objective.
Preface XIX

List of abbreviations XXI

Introduction  XXV

1 Fundamental thoughts on the topic of lobbying and stakeholders 1

1.1 Differences of interest, stakeholders and translation conflicts 1

1.2 Stakeholder orientation: perspectives of corporate management beyond the classic shareholder value approach in the face of more complex framework conditions 10

1.2.1 “Be ahead of change’’: challenge of stakeholder orientation 10

1.2.2 Drivers of stakeholder orientation 12 Internet and digitisation 12 Climate change and demographic trend 13 More social responsibility on the part of citizens and companies: increased complexity of political decision-making processes in the European Union 14 Globalisation and critical trends in a globally interconnected economic and financial world 14 New organisational structures for the representation of civil interests 15 Interim result 16

1.2.3 Ideal of the honourable merchant: a stakeholder-oriented concept? 16

1.2.4 Complex and dynamic perspectives of stakeholder orientation 17

1.2.5 Stakeholder theory: central contributions, development stages and selected key findings 20 Central contributions to the stakeholder theory 21 Three stakeholder theory development stages 22 Maturity phase as part of stakeholder management 28

1.2.6 Stakeholder management and strategies 35

1.2.7 Example applications of the stakeholder view in marketing 39

1.2.8 Summary and outlook 43

1.2.9 Closing remarks 44

1.3 Importance of the intermediary in lobbying derived from mutual market relationship theories 45

1.3.1 Intermediaries 45 Definitions 45 Intermediaries explained using economic theories 48 Transaction cost theory 48 Search theory 50 Intermediation theory of the firm 51 Principal agent theory 52 Behavioural theories 54 Structural hole theory 55 Social exchange theory 56

1.3.2 Summary 57

2 Lobbying: an approach. Fundamentals and introduction 59

2.1 Introduction 59

2.2 Lobbying as a structured communication process 60

2.2.1 Introduction and question 60

2.2.2 Definitions and delimitations 62 From investor relations to governmental relations: lobbying as an indispensable element of corporate communication 62 Lobbying as the communication of individual interests in the political system 66

2.2.3 Lobbying as an element of corporate communication 68 Lobbying as an early warning system: identification of issues and trends 69 Lobbying as a long-term project: structural support of decision-making processes 72 General 72 Information management 74 Strategy consulting 75 Events 75 Integration of corporate interests 76 Lobbying as political crisis management: lobbying as “fire-fighting’’ 76

2.3 Legitimation of lobbying 79

2.3.1 Politics as the contest between various interests with the objective of consensual solutions 82

2.3.2 Lobbying as the aggregation of interests 86

2.3.3 Lobbying as a tool for forming communication interfaces between politics and the affected parties: necessity of an intermediary 88

2.3.4 Political science concepts for analysing and evaluating lobbying: overview 92 Neo-pluralism 92 Neo-corporatism 94 Exchange theory 96 Governance approach 98

2.3.5 Fundamentals of European law 100 Primary legal fundamentals 101 Regulations for lobbyists (code of conduct) and European Union officials 102 Regulations for lobbyists 102 Regulations for European Union officials 104 Further legal regulations and voluntary commitment of lobbyists 106

2.4 Summary 107

3 Politics as a process: paradigm shift from content competence to process competence in lobbying 113

3.1 Introduction and question 113

3.2 Content as the key element of politics? 115

3.3 Classic dimensions of politics: polity, policy, politics 118

3.4 Procedural dimension of politics 121

3.4.1 “Complexity trap’’ of polity: process competence for the political system in the European Union 121

3.4.2 Policy cycle 123 Problem definition 125 Agenda setting 125 Policy formulation and decision 126 Policy implementation 128 Policy evaluation 128 Policy termination 129

3.5 Temporal dimension of politics 130

3.5.1 Endogenous time slots 131

3.5.2 Exogenous time slots 132

3.5.3 Structural time slots 133

3.6 Political actors 134

3.6.1 Individual actors 136

3.6.2 Collective and corporate actors 139

3.6.3 Institutional actors 140

3.7 Political networks 142

3.8 Laws of (political) decisions 147

3.8.1 Homo economicus or homo politicus? 148

3.8.2 Decision-making by homo politicus 152

3.9 Summary 160

4 European Union as the target of lobbying: political system and peculiarities in comparison with national (member state) systems 165

4.1 Introduction and question 165

4.2 Short history of European integration 166

4.3 Fundamental changes due to the Treaty of Lisbon 174

4.3.1 “Lisbon’’: Treaty or Constitution? 176 Genesis of the Treaty of Lisbon 177 How the chosen process determined the substance of the Treaty of Lisbon 181 Evaluation of the differences between the Constitutional Treaty and the Treaty of Lisbon 187

4.3.2 Strengthening the EU externally: the EU as a global player 192

4.3.3 Strengthening the EU internally: transition from the principle of unanimity to the majority principle in the Council of the EU is becoming the usual case 193

4.3.4 Strengthening of the European Parliament 197

4.4 Integration theories and the multi-level system of the European Union 198

4.4.1 Federalism 200

4.4.2 Neo-functionalism 202

4.4.3 Liberal intergovernmentalism 205

4.4.4 Supranationalism 207

4.4.5 Multi-level governance 208

4.5 Political stakeholders in the European Union 213

4.5.1 European (supranational) level: overview of the institutions of the European Union 214 European Parliament 215 European Council 218 Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers) 219 European Commission 221 Court of Justice of the European Union 225 European Central Bank 226 Court of Auditors 227 Other institutions 228

4.5.2 Member state (national) level 230 Member state (“permanent’’) representations 230 Regional representations 232

4.5.3 Civil society (non-state) level 234 Associations 237 Organisations and public interest groups 239 Media 241

4.6 Summary 242

5 Legislative procedure and other legal regulations as the framework of lobbying in the European Union 245

5.1 Introduction and question 245

5.2 Bases of legislation in the EU after Lisbon 245

5.2.1 General 246

5.2.2 Classification of legislative acts after the Treaty of Lisbon 247

5.2.3 Legislative procedures in the European Union 248 General 248 Ordinary legislative procedure 249 Introduction of the legislative procedure: right of initiative of the Commission 251 Further procedure in the Council and Parliament: readings, opinions and conciliation procedures 252 First reading in the European Parliament 253 First reading in the Council 253 Second reading in the Parliament and Council, opinion of the Commission 254 Procedure in the conciliation committee 255 Third reading in the Council and Parliament 256 Publication, announcement and entry into force 256 Legislation by the Commission according to Articles 290 and 291 TFEU, particularly comitology 257 Delegated legislation (Article 290 TFEU) 257 Implementing legislation by the Commission according to Article 291 (2) TFEU 258

5.3 Access to the institutions of the European Union 260

5.3.1 General 260

5.3.2 Legal bases of regulation 262

5.3.3 Legal framework of access to the individual institutions 264 Regulation of access to the European Council 264 Regulation of access to Commission members and civil servants 265 Transparency Initiative/Transparency Register 266 Boundary conditions and content of the Transparency Register 266 Critical appraisal 267 Alternatives to the Transparency Register: binding quality criteria for lobbying 269 Regulation of access to Members of the European Parliament 271 Regulation of access to the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Economic and Social Committee (ESC) 272

5.3.4 Consequences for the practice of lobbying 272 Decisions without decision-makers? 273 European Union “complexity trap’’: is there the one decision-maker? 273 Ordinary legislative procedure (Article 294 TFEU): the number of decision-makers is increasing 273 Informal trialogue as an additional – informal – decision-making level 274 Complexity and multi-dimensionality of the procedures and process competence in lobbying 275 Majority decisions amongst 28 member states as a strategic risk for companies: necessity of “European coalition building’’? 276

5.4 Summary 278

6 Governmental relations: process management in practice 281

6.1 Introduction and question 281

6.2 General 281

6.3 Essential element of successful lobbying: stakeholder management 284

6.3.1 Concept of stakeholder management in the area of political lobbying 284

6.3.2 Stakeholder management in practice 287 Step 1: identification of relevant stakeholders 289 Step 2: stakeholder mapping – categorisation and hierarchical structure 292 Step 3: information management – establishment and administration of a stakeholder database 293

6.4 Lobbying instruments 295

6.4.1 Structural instruments 295 Collective forms of organisation: lobbying through associations 295 General heterogeneity problem 295 Association-based lobbying “from the inside’’ and “from the outside’’ 300 Cultural differences between the EU level and member states as a problem for associations 301 European and national associations 302 European associations 302 National associations 303 Non-collective forms of organisation 305 In-house lobbying: own corporate representative office 305 Role and activities of an in-house lobbyist 306 Personal requirements for a lobbyist 307 Central problem: trust cannot be bequeathed 307 External service providers 308 Public affairs agencies 308 Law firms 309 Governmental relations agencies 311 Think tanks 315 Posting internal employees to the institutions 316 Costs of the various instruments 316 Costs of an association 317 Costs of a corporate representative office in Brussels 318 Costs of an external service provider 321 Public affairs agencies 321 Law firms 322 Governmental relations agencies 323

6.4.2 Process-oriented instruments 325 Mono process-oriented instruments 326 Telephone call 326 SMS 326 E-mail 327 Personal discussion 328 Briefing 328 Opinion in the legislative procedure 329 Onepager 330 Poly process-oriented instruments 333 Workshop 333 Parliamentary evening 333

6.5 Implementation in practice: overall model for structuring effective and efficient lobbying 335

6.5.1 Setting quality benchmarks: key elements of effective lobbying for a company 335

6.5.2 Co-ordination of the instruments by the company 339

6.5.3 Documentation of the starting point and objective: definition of a general corporate requirement profile in the field of lobbying 341

6.5.4 Implementing and successfully undertaking lobbying projects: fundamental steps 343 Documentation of the content-related objective and continuous checking of political feasibility 344 Procedural situation assessment and strategy planning 345 Drafting and submitting one or more onepagers 345 Flanking the onepager with other structural and process-oriented instruments (mutual information transparency) 346 Supporting decision-making processes at legislative and executive level 347

6.5.5 Conclusion 348

6.6 Summary 348

7 Training: ways to becoming a governmental relations manager 353

7.1 Introduction and question 353

7.2 Framework conditions and general requirements on a lobbyist 354

7.2.1 Breaking down and controlling increasing complexity 354

7.2.2 Deciphering the complex multi-level system of the European Union 358

7.3 Requirements on a lobbyist 360

7.3.1 Knowledge of the world of politics and the world of stakeholder groups 360 Lobbying as an intermediary system 360 Requirements on the part of stakeholder groups 363 Information 363 Commercial management thinking and implementation of the clients’ (political) objectives 364 Professional representation of clients’ interests 365 Technical know-how and good contacts 366 Soft skills as essential tools: social skills, intercultural and linguistic skills, integrity 367 Integrity and compliance 369 Requirements on the part of politicians 370 Information 370 Information transparency and professional information mediation 371 Understanding of political processes and culture 372 Integrity and compliance 373 R´esum´e 376

7.3.2 Development of skills for the structural and long-term support of political processes 377 Process competence and an understanding of complex political systems 377 Reduction of complexity for politicians and stakeholder groups 380 Revolving door as an answer? 381 Switch from politics to commerce 383 Problems of the different socialisation of politicians and decision-makers from commerce 384 Revolving door as a dead end? Image problems for politicians and stakeholder groups 386

7.4 Status quo of “vocational education and further training for lobbyists” 387

7.4.1 Existing methods of education and further training 387

7.4.2 Objectives and content of the current education and further training 390

7.5 New approaches in education and further training 392

7.5.1 European law module 394

7.5.2 Political science module 395

7.5.3 Process management and complexity reduction module 396

7.5.4 Intercultural skills module 397

7.5.5 Language module 398

7.5.6 Practical module 398

7.6 Summary 399

8 Discourse: future challenges 403

8.1 Professionalism means translation competence 403

8.1.1 Classic professions 403

8.1.2 A new form of professionalism? 407

8.1.3 Professionalism as translation competence 412

8.1.4 Brief Appendix: lobbying re-thought 413

8.2 Convincing political stakeholders: specifics and challenges for SMEs using the example of Bavaria 414

8.2.1 What are SMEs in Bavaria? 415

8.2.2 How is political lobbying organised amongst Bavarian SMEs? 417

8.2.3 What are the current problems involved in political lobbying? 420

8.2.4 Conclusion 421

9 Case studies on lobbying projects with structural process support  423

9.1 Case 1: “advertising bans for spirits, beer and wine?’’ 424

9.1.1 Circumstances/initial situation 424

9.1.2 Step 1: documentation of the (content-related) objective and continuous checking of political feasibility 427

9.1.3 Step 2: procedural situation assessment and strategy planning 428

9.1.4 Step 3: drafting a onepager and submitting it to previously identified addressees at the legislative and executive level 431

9.1.5 Steps 4 and 5: implementation of the onepager and supporting decision-making processes at legislative and executive level 433 Lobbying vis-`a-vis the European Commission 433 Lobbying vis-`a-vis the Council 433 Lobbying vis-`a-vis the European Parliament 434

9.1.6 Result: achievement of objectives 435

9.2 Case 2: “regulation for defining the modalities for achieving the objective of reducing the CO2 emissions of new passenger cars by 2020’’ 435

9.2.1 Circumstances/initial situation 435

9.2.2 Step 1: documentation of the (content-related) objective and continuous checking of political feasibility 437

9.2.3 Step 2: procedural situation assessment and strategy planning 438

9.2.4 Step 3: drafting one or more onepagers and submitting them to previously identified addressees 439

9.2.5 Step 4: flanking the onepager with other structural and processoriented instruments (mutual information transparency) 440

9.2.6 Step 5: supporting decision-making processes at legislative and executive level 441 Lobbying vis-`a-vis the European Commission 441 Lobbying vis-`a-vis the Council 442 Lobbying vis-`a-vis the European Parliament 443 Lobbying vis-`a-vis the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee 444

9.2.7 Result: achievement of objectives 444

10 Summary and outlook: necessity of supplementing and updating the instruments for successful lobbying in the European Union in the light of the Treaty of Lisbon 445

10.1 Lobbying as an economic asset for companies 445

10.2 Objectives of lobbying (involvement in decision-making processes) 446

10.3 Framework conditions – reform due to the Treaty of Lisbon 447

10.3.1 Treaty of Lisbon: “United States of Europe’’! 447

10.3.2 Strengthening the European Union 449 Outwardly 449 Inwardly 450

10.3.3 Multi-level system, ordinary legislative procedure, informal trialogue 450 Multi-level system 450 Ordinary legislative procedure (Article 294 TFEU): the number of decision-makers is increasing 450 Informal trialogue: an additional decision-making level 452

10.3.4 Shift in focus from content to process competence 452

10.3.5 Increase in complexity and paradigm shift 453 Increase in the complexity of European decisionmaking processes 453 Paradigm shift in lobbying: process competence 455

10.4 Lobbying instruments: additions and continued development (intermeshing content competence with process competence) 456

10.4.1 External intermediary: key to reducing complexity (structural organisation) 456 Process structure competence (PStC) 457 Management competence 457 Production competence 458 Procedure complementary to the company’s content competence (CC) 458 Prerequisites for the acceptance of the intermediary within the company and the legislative and executive level 458 Neutrality and independence 458 Highest standards of compliance 459 Industry competition exclusion clause 459

10.4.2 Process-oriented methodology of the intermediary (procedural organisation) 459 Perspective change competence (PCC) 459 Onepager 459 Perspective change from the individual interest (perspective of those affected) to a common interest 460 Process support competence (PSuC) 461

10.5 Success formula for complexity management in successful lobbying 462

10.6 Result and outlook 463

References and further reading 465

About the authors 495