Anu Bradford, a professor at Columbia Law School, wrote the book on EU influence — literally. In January, she published “The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World.” It details how the European Union manages to unilaterally regulate the global market.
LOBBYING THE EU - THE BRUSSELS EFFECT
“All the EU needs to do is to regulate [its internal] single market, and it is then the global companies that globalize those EU rules,” she told me during a pre-coronavirus trip to Brussels in early March. The most obvious example of this phenomenon, she said, is the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
Global influence: As international awareness of the EU’s regulatory power has grown, there’s been “a massive increase in the presence of foreign companies in Brussels” and their efforts to lobby institutions, said Bradford. “Because when you think about it, if you manage to influence the regulatory process in the EU, you can influence the regulations across the world.”
Despite the increased international lobbying effort, “we don’t see that lobbying [has] led to weak regulations,” according to Bradford. She contrasts this with the U.S. where corporate influence often undermines U.S. regulations. She chalks up this difference to the comparatively stronger influence of civil society in the legislative and rule-making process in the EU.
Bradford said this leads to “a more balanced outcome in the end, but certainly there is an awareness and attempt on behalf of the corporations to influence the outcomes.”
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