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Browsing by Author "Hynynen, Lassi"

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  • Hynynen, Lassi (2020)
    Following research attempts to find out, first, what has been the effect of European political and economic integration, in terms of the emergence and expansion of EU, to the Finnish energy industry’s public affairs management and, second, what are the explaining political, economic and other factors behind the change. The focus of research is placed upon four different aspects of change: (1) changes in the importance and magnitude of lobbying, (2) change in the functioning of policy networks, (3) change in the role of NGOs and public discussion, and (4) changes in the special characteristics of energy sector from the point of view of lobbying. In terms of the time period, the focus of research is 2010-2020 because the findings then adequately build upon the previous literature on the subject. Twelve qualitative interviews with Finnish energy elite constituted the new empirical material of the research. The interview conversations were analysed by contrasting them to the analytical framework consisting of theoretical and empirical parts. The research is going to argue that the importance and magnitude of lobbying has grown in energy sector. Finnish energy industry’s PA-management has also become more EU-oriented, systematic and proactive. Although the trade associations form the backbone for Finnish energy lobbying, there is a trend of increasing importance of individual direct lobbying and lobbying via issue-based business coalitions. The policy networks are increasingly competitive, international and flexible. Communication agencies have become important supporting actors in Finnish energy industry’s PA-operations. Environmental NGOs have gained increasingly strong foothold in the EU policy process and wide public discussion regarding sustainable development complicates energy lobbying. Overall, the policy networks of Finnish energy industry reflect signs of increasing pluralism and openness. Whereas policy networks in Finland reflect corporatist tendencies, the EU interest representation system is more pluralist, although also elitist in its nature. Each system has their advantages and disadvantages regarding access to policy process and democratic legitimacy of lobbying.