A Biased Rapporteur or Politics As Usual? Reassessing the Balance of Interests in the EU Food Information Labelling Case
Journal of European Public Policy, 23(2), 2016, p. 296-313
21 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2015 Last revised: 20 Nov 2018
Date Written: June 19, 2015
In this article we challenge Kurzer and Cooper’s claim that the industry was able to get its way in the Food Information to Consumers Regulation by successfully lobbying the European Parliament and benefiting from an industry-friendly rapporteur. We scrutinize their findings through a comprehensive analysis of all amendments tabled in the environmental committee at first reading and a process tracing of the 12 most salient issues. Our results indicate a rather balanced rapporteur and show that both the ENVI committee and the plenary EP changed the regulation in favour of consumer interests on a significant number of points, with key victories for the industry being the result of pressure from the Council, not from the European Parliament. We explain these results on the basis of earlier work examining the role- behaviour of rapporteurs and the functioning of Parliament committees.
Keywords: EU food labelling; European Parliament; interest groups; lobbying; rapporteurs
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