1. bookVolume 8 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2017
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
English, German
Open Access

A Rawlsian perspective on the institutional limits of lobbying the European Commission

Published Online: 31 Dec 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 8 (2020) - Issue 1 (June 2020)
Page range: 13 - 27
Received: 13 Mar 2020
Accepted: 03 Apr 2020
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2017
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
English, German

In the process of drafting European Union (EU) legislation and supervising its effective national implementation, the European Commission has to cooperate with lobbyists. This exchange involves the risk of arbitrary lobby influence on its decisions at the expense of other EU citizens. Against this backdrop, this article addresses the research question of which normative principles should constrain the Commission’s interaction with lobbyists. Based on the contractarian approach from Rawls’ Law of Peoples, it identifies eight criteria of a Rawlsian lobby consultation system for the Commission, which representatives of EU countries could accept from behind a Rawlsian veil of ignorance and in view of the fundamental interest of their people. These normative criteria can be supervised by independent institutions like the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice. They constitute a procedural approach to the political supervision of the Commission’s interaction with lobbyists that can be enforced without compromising its necessary institutional independence.


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