The evolution of the EU interest group system: To join or not to join?
This chapter gives an overview of the EU interest group system and analyses the reasons why firms and national associations join EU associations. The first section provides an account of the major trends in the evolution of the EU interest group system from the 1950s until 2001. It demonstrates that, over the course of the last 50 years, the European interest group system has co-evolved with the EU institutional setting (Eichener and Voelzkow 1994b). Ever more actors and types of organization have become active at the European level, and the interests represented at the EU level have also broadened considerably.