Too Limited, Too Late. Evaluating the Czech Republic’s Performance as a Small-State Lobbyist in EU External Policy Cover Image

Too Limited, Too Late. Evaluating the Czech Republic’s Performance as a Small-State Lobbyist in EU External Policy
Too Limited, Too Late. Evaluating the Czech Republic’s Performance as a Small-State Lobbyist in EU External Policy

Author(s): Tomáš Weiss
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Ústav mezinárodních vztahů
Keywords: lobbying; small state interests; EU external policy; Czech Republic; Generalised System of Preferences

Summary/Abstract: The article proposes a classification of interest promotion methods used by small EU memberstates which draws on lobbying literature in order for us to better understand how smallstates pursue their preferences in Council negotiations. It explores a single case study of theCzech Republic’s efforts to influence the 2012 revision of the European Union’sGeneralisedSystem of Preferences scheme through the lenses of this classification. The empirical part ofthe paper is based on original research interviews with European and Czech stakeholderswho participated in the studied negotiations. While the dossier was considered important,the Czech Republic failed to employmore elaboratemethods of interest promotion and thuscame away with a sub-optimal outcome. Rather than explaining this by pointing to a lack ofsocialization of Czech representatives (and thus a lack of effective competence), this deficiencycan be better explained by the low salience of the general policy area for the CzechRepublic, which prevented the country fromdeveloping a favourable position fromwhich toreact promptly to the related developments and deploy the lobbying tools at its disposal. Thearticle suggests that the lobbyist-like character of a smallmember state’s performance in theCouncil may have wider consequences for the flexibility of the country’s EU policy and theability of its governments to pursue specific European policies.

  • Issue Year: 24/2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 53-78
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: English