Lobbying for Justice? Organized Welfare in Germany under the Impact of Europeanization

Katrin Toens


The paper explores the impact of European integration on German welfare associations and their lobbying activities on behalf of the poor. The first part describes the restrictions of lobbying in German welfare corporatism. It argues that the use of the lobbying function is diminished due to the role of welfare associations to pacify rather than fuel political conflict. Based on the assumption that European integration contributes to the weakening of welfare corporatism, the second part analyses the effects of Europeanization on ´welfare lobbying´. The application of a conceptual framework, derived from recent Europeanization debates, leads to the distinction of three time periods, during which the impact of European policy on the lobbying behaviour of welfare associations has gradually increased. During the first two periods, a change in the welfare associations´ political strategy towards the EU had a strengthening influence on their lobbying function. In the third period the political decision making process on the EU Services Directive provided a ´window of opportunity´ for the welfare associations to further consolidate the use of their lobbying function.


interest representation, civil society, Europeanization, governance, lobbying, NGOs, corporatism, political science

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