The Treaty of Lisbon came into effect on 1 December 2009. It gives the EU a new primary law framework and has significantly enhanced its competence and importance, thereby causing a remarkable increase in the EU's influence. Certain changes in the voting procedures should be particularly significant for companies: alongside the double majority rule in Council decisions, under the Lisbon Treaty, only a majority is now required in many areas previously governed by the principle of unanimity. Foremost examples here are justice and internal affairs, foreign trade and agriculture. Persuading its own national government that its concerns are legitimate is, therefore, only of limited benefit to a company as individual Member States can easily be outvoted in Brussels. A strong position in the company's "home Member State" only can rapidly become an insignificant minority position. Nevertheless, European actions and procedures remain obscure and inaccessible for many company heads. Companies, for this reason, often fail to see many opportunities and chances which a deeper understanding of and a strong presence in the European capital can offer a business. It is not simply the underlying conditions for companies in one Member State which are at stake, but rather the conditions governing an internal market with around 500 million consumers. The need for effective and efficient lobbying has increased due to the recent renaissance of the State observed in the crisis: in the context of partial nationalisation, far-reaching regulation of entire sectors and a general increase in state control of company decisions, good channels of communication to legislative and executive decision-makers are more important than ever. The publication helps to guide companies through the intricacies of Brussels and offers an insight into the complex but diverse and interesting service of lobbying. It is designed as a practical tool especially for decision-makers and executives in companies. Numerous figures and tables illustrate the text. Main topics include the characteristics of lobbying at the European level, taking account of the changes brought about by the Treaty of Lisbon, the notion of a lobbyist's "practical tools" and finally suggestions for a company's strategic positioning vis-á-vis decision makers in the European legislature and executive. von Joos, Klemens
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Dr Klemens Joos is the founder and managing director of EUTOP International GmbH. EUTOP has successfully represented the interests of private companies and organisations vis-á-vis decision-makers in the institutions of the European Union and its member states for 20 years.