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Historical and International Comparison of Business Interest Associations

19th-20th Centuries


Edited By Danièle Fraboulet-Rousselier, Andrea Maria Locatelli and Paolo Tedeschi

This book brings together selected essays on European Business Interest Associations (BIAs) as important components of European social and economic development over the last 150 years. The studies were originally presented at the 2012 World Economic History Congress, organized in association with an international research programme on BIAs in Europe. They adopt a historical research methodology with the aim of updating previous scholarship from within the social sciences; they also look at a number of different European countries, allowing for a comparative approach. They explore the roots and identity of BIAs, analyse their activities and examine their financing sources and strategies. Some essays discuss the decline of the old system of craft guilds and the emergence of new forms of economic organization and representation: new BIAs had to contend with the development of the trade unions and the growth of state economic interventionism and so they progressively increased their activities in order to serve European companies. Other essays present specific national examples of the evolution of BIAs throughout the twentieth century and also look at the development of Eurofederations.


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Business Eurofederations and European Integration from the Second World War to the 1970s (Neil Rollings)


175 Business Eurofederations and European Integration from the Second World War to the 1970s Neil ROLLINGS University of Glasgow Introduction In June 2012 there were 5,145 entries in the European Union’s Transparency Register of Interest Representatives1. However, the register only opened in June 2008 (then called the Register of Interest Representatives) and registration is voluntary. While the register has been criticised for ‘seemingly irrelevant registrations’2, one recent estimate suggests that there are more like 15,000-20,000 interest groups operating in Brussels3. Political scientists now regard this system of interest representation as mature and sophisticated: it is the diversity and complexity of the relationships between interest groups and EU institutions which is stressed4. They contrast this position with the past by emphasising the co-evolution of interest group representation and European integration in three key respects: the types of organisation have diversified; the scope of the interests being represented has widened; and the number of interest groups has increased5. Thus with the growth in numbers of European interest groups so the largest category has recently 1 See data in [accessed 18 June 2012]. 2 See Wonka, A., Baumgartner, F.R., Mahoney, C., Berkhout, J., “Measuring the size and scope of the EU interest group population”, in European Union Politics, 2010, n. 3, p. 474. 3 See Coen, D., Richardson, J., “Learning to lobby the European Union: 20 years of change”, in Id., (eds.), Lobbying the European Union: institutions, actors, and issues, Oxford, OUP, 2009, p. 6. 4...

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