Multilevel ‘venue shopping’: The case of EU’s Renewables Directive

Interest Groups & Advocacy, Vol 3, No 1, 2014, pp. 30-58.

This article examines the lobbying strategies employed by the interest organizations of Germany’s energy industries in the process leading up to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. How did they lobby, and what does this reveal about their perceptions of EU power relations? The utilities and renewables industries disagreed deeply on core issues. Nine interest organizations representing these sectors, five German and four at the EU level, serve as cases. Applying the theory perspectives of liberal intergovernmentalism (LI) and multi-level governance (MLG) to explain their lobbying behaviour, observations are better described by MLG than LI. This also suggests that multi-level strategies should be included in causal analyses of national and European-level interest organizations’
lobbying of EU legislation. Further, to grasp the momentum of lobbying processes, it is imperative to investigate coordination of strategies between interest groups at different levels in complex multi-level advocacy coalition