Danish Interests in the EU: Lobbying Energy Directives Through the European Commission

Mie Friis Trebbien

Student thesis: Master thesis


Lobbyism is an integral part of the European Union’s policymaking process. Worldwide interest representations attempt to influence the legislation to benefit their interests. Danish interests are no exception. However, the study of Danish lobbying on EU policymaking exposes a gap in the literature, as this topic has not been thoroughly studied. This thesis seeks to address this gap. In doing so, two recently revised energy directives, the Renewable Energy Directive II and the Energy Efficiency Directive, are used as the scope for analysis for the lobbying efforts by Danish interests on the decision-making process within the European Commission. The analysis of lobbying strategies and the consecutive success of influence by Danish interests are done within a comprehensive theoretical framework. This framework consists of several different components of the existing lobbying literature that focus on specific parts of lobbying engagement and strategies. Hence, this thesis attempts to combine these elements to create a comprehensive explanation for Danish lobbying strategies and whether they enabled Danish interests to succeed in gaining influence. The lobbying efforts are further put into the political context that the Danish interests operated in. This is done by the quantitative method Wordfish that is used to estimate the policy position of all interests on either of the two energy directives. Afterwards, a qualitative analysis is conducted using directed qualitative content analysis, which tests whether the components of the theoretical framework give a comprehensive analysis of the strategies used by Danish interest groups and companies. The thesis finds a number of factors that to varying degrees have influenced the Danish interests’ strategies to succeed in influencing the directives to their benefit: A combination of specificity of recommendations, type, quantity, quality, and efficiency of the access good, the offered supply compared to the demand, type of interest representation, types of lobbying, provision of information, economic power, and citizen support, and lastly the participation in a lobbying coalition.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2022
Number of pages142
SupervisorsMads Dagnis Jensen