‘Lobbying’ raises similar types of issues for most democratic political systems which leads to some degree of regulation. The core issue involves public assurance as to the probity of exchanges between lobby organizations and political institutions, but this can extend into wider issues involving equality of access. This is particularly important in the EU political system because of the high degree of reliance upon organized civil society to undertake core democratic mechanisms (Chapter 1). ‘Lobby Regulation’ can embrace a variety of goals, on a spectrum ranging from limited aims of avoiding corrupt practice through to contributing to more complex regulation of access to political institutions, and exchanges between them and outside organizations aimed at ensuring pluralistic democratic outcomes. The EU’s systemic reliance upon organized civil society means that it has all of these features. Chapter 8 considers the range of procedures which regulate exchanges with organized civil society aimed at democratic outcomes, while this chapter focuses more narrowly upon the EU’s lobby regulation schemes, although it does consider the contribution of these schemes to, and implications for, achieving democratic goals.
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