chapter  3
28 Pages

State–business relations in the EU member states

In all advanced capitalist democracies, state institutions and business interest associations (BIAs) maintain frequent and close relations. In several countries, trade associations have been granted formal powers in the making and implementation of public policies. Nonetheless, according to many observers, the nature of these political exchanges varies significantly across nations. Social, economic and political institutions as well as established ideas about statesociety relations are at the root of these differences (Katzenstein 1978a; Hall 1986; Lehmbruch 1991; Hall and Soskice 2001a, 2001b). National modes of interest intermediation and varieties of capitalism are said to channel how functional exigencies are dealt with in political-economic systems. They should also lead firms and business associations to respond in different ways to European integration, causing them to chart different courses of coordinating the economy and representing business interests.