The European Union (EU) poses quite profound questions for scholars and students of the social and political sciences. This benchmark Handbook is designed to provide an authoritative state-of-the art guide to the scope of the field suitable for both established scholars and students of the EU; reflect and contribute to the debates about the nature of the field of EU studies and EU politics in particular; and explore in detail the development of the many approaches to the study of EU politics. Divided into four sections, the Handbook focuses on theorizing European integration; the EU as polity; politics and policy making in the EU; and the EU and the international system.

Organized Interests in the European Union1

Organized Interests in the European Union1

Organized interests in the European Union

Introduction: Shooting Where the Ducks Are

It is by now conventional wisdom to claim that the EU is sui generis. However, we need to recognize that the EU is now a relatively mature policy-making system. It is also a very productive policy-making system. In a sense, there is a policy-making engine at work within the EU that continues to churn out a mass of EU-level public policy that the 25 member states then have to implement. Thus the EU is a ‘policymaking state’ (Richardson 2005). Indeed, much of the criticism of the EU over the past decade (and part of the basis of the growing Euro-scepticism) has been centred upon the alleged ‘excessive’ policy-making role ...

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