The funding of interest groups in the EU: are the rich getting richer?

Michele Crepaz, Marcel Hanegraaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


Governmental subsidies are demand-side factors, which allow governments to ‘mould’ interest group communities. The EU is the worlds’ largest donor and has claimed to use public funds to promote the participation of organized interests in public policy. Previous studies found support for this claim and concluded that EU subsidies help to alleviate existing biases in the system of interest intermediation. In this article, we challenge these findings and argue that scholars paid too little attention to the applications for funding filed by interest groups. Using data collected from a survey of applying organizations, we consider the effect of four types of bias on the attainment of funds. Our results suggest that an organization's financial resources and its past success with applications increase the likelihood of winning a grant. These results question the redistributive aspect of EU funds and compare biases in EU funding with existing biases in the interest intermediation system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-121
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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