Exploring direct subsidies to interest groups in the EU

Governmental subsidies to interest groups is a form of financial support of the activity of civil society groups and other organisations. These funds often represent a substantial proportion of the total budget of an organisation and, by strengthening its financial resources, support the efficiency of its activity. 

The EU is currently the world's largest donor. By deciding who is to be funded, EU institutions wield considerable control over organisational activity and its autonomy. 

Current studies in this field of research have paid attention exclusively  to the financial support of civil society organisations. Our project extends to the entire interest group community, including business organisations, firms, professional associations and research institutes. 

We collected data from ca. 500 politically active organisations in two rounds of surveys in 2016 and 2018. With this data we aim at providing new insights into the EU funding mechanism of the interest group community. 

Our work wishes to draw larger economic and social implications for the literature on interest groups and EU public policy and for the day-to-day operations of politically active organisations in the EU.

Our outputs:

Project team:

Michele Crepaz, VC's Illuminate Fellow, Queen's University Belfast

Marcel Hanegraaff, Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam

Other Collaborators:

Rosa Sanchez Salgado, Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam