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No simple dichotomies : lobbyists and the European parliament

Judge, David and Earnshaw, D. (2002) No simple dichotomies : lobbyists and the European parliament. Journal of Legislative Studies, 8 (4). pp. 61-79. ISSN 1357-2334

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To call lobbyists of the European Parliament ‘unelected legislators’ is somewhat misleading. Similarly, to talk of ‘inspired legislation’, where laws, or more particularly amendments to legislation, are ‘written by a lobby group from the civil society and more or less rubber stamped by a public body’1 is to over-simplify a complex and mediated relationship between elected ‘legislators’ and unelected ‘interest representatives’. Indeed, in the case of the European Union (EU), identifying a single ‘public body’ as a ‘legislator’ is problematic in itself as all three major institutions – Commission, Council and European Parliament – perform legislative roles. Moreover, securing a single, clearly defined imprint of a ‘rubber stamp’ on legislation is difficult given the inter-institutional bargaining that results in blurred and smudged legislative imprints at the best of times.