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The Structure of Turkish Lobbying: The Actors lobbying for Turkey

The presence of interest groups in Brussels and on the political playing field of the European projects dates back to the late 1950s. Of the large European umbrella organizations, the European federations of national associations, most were founded within the first two decades of the European Union, then still the European Economic Community (plus the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, joined together in the European Community in 1965).

The first to enter the European stage were employers, industry and commerce, and farmers: UNICE (Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of Europe 1958), CEEP(Centre of Enterprises of General Economic Interest 1961), Eurochambers (Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry 1958), and COPA (Committee of Professional Agricultural Organizations 1958).

Some of the interests termed general got off to comparatively early starts with umbrella organizations such as BEUC (European Consumers’ Organization 1962) and EEB (European Environmental Bureau 1974). Interestingly, labor unions did not organize on a European level until 1973 (ETUC – European Trade Union Confederation); the inward orientation of the national members that is a main reason for this late start continues to impede effective EU interest representation (Piccinetti, 2009: 19-20).

The actual boom of lobbying in the EU began with the Single European Act (SEA) in 1986. The endorsement of single market, the introduction qualified majority voting for most measures concerning it, and the establishment of the so-called 1992 programme to complete single market legislation by 1992 triggered interest group lobbying of a new quality and quantity. Interest lobbies that had so far only organized nationally made the move to Brussels at this point as did professional lobbyists and consultants.

The majority of regional and local government representative offices arrived shortly after, in the wake of Maastricht Treaty (1992), its endorsement of the principal of subsidiarity, the creation of the COR, and in the wake of general federalization tendencies in several member states. Even lobbies that had established themselves before the boom years showed a rise in Brussels spending, mainly in the form of personnel (Piccinetti, 2009: 19-20).

The expansion of lobbying seems to have plateau with the completion of the single market. However, a quantitative proof of this common assessment by both EU Institutions and Brussels lobbyists isn’t easy since individual statistics from the early 1990s can strongly vary. In addition many authors still compare today’s more established figures with very widely quoted figures approximated by the Commission in 1992 – the Commission then spoke of 3. 000 Brussels based interest groups employing some 10. 000 people.

In any case, the lobbying landscape has expanded only gradually over the past years a look at the annually published “European Public Affairs Directory” reveals. The system of interest group classification suggests a two by two matrix based on the type of interest represented by a group. Its first dimension differentiates between public and private interests, its second between national or unilateral and international or multilateral interests. These dimensions seem appropriate in the context of EU lobby groups for several reasons.

Firs the groups encountered in the above examination of the EU lobbying landscape all differ from each other to a certain degree in these dimensions which therefore allow for a meaningful separation of group interests. Second, the public-private dimension can in most cases be a helpful pointer as to the resources available to an interest group and the influence these resources can help generate. Third, the public-private dimension represents the most widely used categories of differentiation between interest groups in Brussels.

Fourth and along similar lines, the national/unilateral-international/multilateral dimension, which functions as a proxy for the degree of interest aggregation within the group and its European-level perspective, helps differentiate between probabilities of institutional access granted, access being essential to effective lobbying. The problem of European business and employers’ associations are mirrored by their counterparts in organized labor.

European labor associations are weakened by internal competition, caused by a continued national orientation of their members wishing to preserve national power centers with at the same time trying to exploit the dual track approach. Most public interest NGOs arrived late on the Brussels scene and are therefore still underrepresented compared to private interests; this gives evidence of the EU timeline and the relatively late point at which public interest issues appeared on the agenda of European Institutions (Piccinetti, 2009: 19-20).

Many of these interests, especially the social interests, suffer from an inability to organize and to acquire funds. There is a certain weakness in their ability to follow an issue through the policy process which is strongly determined by the lobbying resources available to cover all relevant access points. At the same time, NGOs profit from the fact that they rarely compare amongst one another but either join in like-minded coalitions or divide topics amongst each other (Piccinetti, 2009: 19-20).

The second groups of late-comers to EU interest lobbying are the regional and other infranational government authorities. Seen in the examination of interest group statistics, this group’s presence has been growing rapidly and its members -have asserted themselves as relatively autonomous and flexible players in Europe- Though national governments question the influence of regional representations in Brussels, the regional offices themselves as well as third parties identify specific strengths, especially in their ability for tapping EU funds.

The ever growing number of interest groups on the EU level and the limited number of seats at the table emphasize the importance of the lobbying success factors of organization and professionalization. b. Turkish representation in Brussels A view of society in Brussels Brussels has become de facto a multicultural and multilingual city, even more than what it was earlier. At the same time, Brussels is destined to become the capital of an ever more united Europe. The city however faces a lot of problems related to the integration of the different culture population it has into the main stream.

In fact the integration of North African, chiefly Moroccan and to a slightly lesser extent Turkish populace is the most important problem Brussels has to face in the near future. (Byram, Leman, 1990:25-26) Brussels, in fact, has an important role as a symbolic representative of Europe. The idea of “unity in diversity”, actively promoted by the European Union’s campaign through Europe, is actually experienced by the local inhabitants of the city that hosts the EU’s premises, and gas come to be seen by the wider international community as a characterizing the European Union.

It is even suggested that Brussels gas a history that by far exceeds the more recent history of the EU’s establishment (Amen, Archer, Bosman, 2006:172). Turkish society in Brussels In the 1960s and 1970s, the official Belgian agents were actively recruiting cheap labor in remote rural areas just outside Europe, first in Morocco and later in Turkey. The period was one of economic development and Belgian government decided to hire foreign workers not only for the mines, but also for heavy industries such as Brussels and Antwerp.

With this aim in view, a bilateral agreement was signed with Turkey and Morocco in 1964. These people were gradually directed towards the industry in the suburbs of Brussels. In this way, immigration gradually became a more urban phenomenon. However, foreign workers were not accepted in Belgium solely through bilateral agreements with the Belgian government. The government also allowed many people to enter the country under the unofficial status of tourist. These people came to the country with a tourist visa and looked for employment in the large urban centers.

Today, more than ten percent of he Brussels population is Moroccan or of immediate Moroccan origin, and about four percent is Turkish or of Turkish origin. Some streets, e. g. chaussee d’Haecht/ Haachtsesteenweg, seem to be made up completely of Turkish restraints. Another street, rue de Brabant/ Brabantstraat, has developed into a kind of soukh or bazaar where Turkish immigrant from all over Europe are flooding to because this is the place where one can find goodies that they cant find elsewhere in Europe and simply because it is the place to be for them (Barnard, 2005:87-88).

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