Since 1962, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has been part of the EU’s – and its predecessors’ – legislative scene. BEUC has both been an actor and witness of the developments in the EU’s consumer policy and lobbying landscape. This article sketches the evolution of BEUC within the European integration process and relates this to the expansion of the EU’s consumer policy. By means of two case studies – the battle to ban lead in petrol and efforts to regulate hormone-disrupting chemicals – it illustrates two characteristics of EU lobbying, namely, agenda setting and exertion of influence by non-EU actors. Through criteria such as credibility, legitimacy and resources, the article outlines intersections and differences between public and private interest representation. The article concludes with an outlook of how current political trends – EU scepticism and better regulation – will shape the way lobbying for the consumer interest may develop in the future.
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