Approximately 30 000 lobbyists operate in the EU. Who are they? Are an employee of a non-governmental organisation and a lawyer representing the interests of industry both lobbyists? Scholars, policy-makers and the general public would give different and often incompatible answers. And so lobbying regulation and research on EU decision-making is inadequate and even misinformed.
Drawing on research literature, norm analysis and interviews, the project aims to identify the normative frameworks (legal, political and constitutional) within which the lobbyist operates. The innovative edge of the project lies in its counter-intuitive logic: the lobbyist is not a matter-of-factly identifiable advocate of political interests but, rather, the social actor, whose advocacy of political interests is regulated at the overlapping crossroads of the normative frameworks, is the “lobbyist”. The normative approach facilitates discussion and breaks new ground in the study of lobbying in the EU.